"A Sweet Disorder In The Dress Kindles In Clothes A Wantonness"

Context: Although Herrick lived well into the Restoration period, and although he was the vicar of a remote Devonshire parish from 1629 to 1648, his poetry remained unchanged: he wrote either descriptions of simple country life in his parish or the gay, light-hearted love poetry characteristic of what has been called "the Cavalier" school. This little poem, scarcely more than a sketch, presents the idea that a certain carelessness in feminine attire is to the poet more attractive than too much precision. The pleasure of the poem lies in the neat observation of the details that create the charming disorder that appeals to Herrick.

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 winning wave, deserving note,
In the tempestuous petticoat
. . .
Do more bewitch me than when art
Is more precise in every part.