These have been on my mind lately. Although I can assure you that sweet imprecision is not something I should be cultivating right now, in light of the hair splitting rigors of bar exam. As is the case with good poetry, a prose explication would vastly exceed the poems. So I'll just post the poems themselves.
The Herrick piece is probably more well known, but, as with many things, I prefer Ben Johnson. And not just because of the Horace allusion. Although sic vos non vobis mellificatis apes (Virgil) has been something of a motto this summer. I ought to get it tattooed so I don't forget it.
Anyway, I'm off to a brief sleep break before another bar/cram/jam. Here are the poems. Discuss amongst yourselves. Or not.
Delight in Disorder
A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness:
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction:
An erring lace, which here and there
Enthralls the crimson stomacher:
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribbands to flow confusedly:
A winning wave (deserving note)
In the tempestuous petticoat:
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility:
Do more bewitch me, than when art
Is too precise in every part.
Still to be neat, still to be dressed,
As you were going to a feast;
Still to be powdered, still perfumed:
Lady, it is to be presumed,
Though art's hid causes are not found,
All is not sweet, all is not sound.
Give me a look, give me a face,
That makes simplicity a grace;
Robes loosely flowing, hair as free:
Such sweet neglect more taketh me
Than all the adulteries of art;
They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.