Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Mower to the Glow-Worms by Andrew Marvell

This week, a terrific poem in the English pastoral tradition. I love how convention is upended by the personal in the last stanza.


The Mower to the Glow-Worms

Ye living lamps, by whose dear light
The nightingale does sit so late,
And studying all the summer night,
Her matchless songs does meditate;

Ye county comets, that portend
No war nor prince’s funeral,
Shining unto no higher end
Than to presage the grass’s fall;

Ye glow-worms, whose officious flame
To wand’ring mowers shows the way,
That in the night have lost their aim,
And after foolish fires do stray;

Your courteous lights in vain you waste,
Since Juliana here is come,
For she my mind hath so displac’d
That I shall never find my home.



Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) was a well-known politician in his day, holding office in Oliver Cromwell's government. Though good friends with John Milton, he was, himself, relatively unknown as a poet and his work was only published posthumously. He is now considered one of the great English poets of the 17th Century.

9 Comments:

Blogger Ginger said...

aw, that's sweet!

you enjoy your lovely day and what appears to be a vacation since you posted on wednesday. thanks!

2:26 PM  
Blogger Mae said...

lovely poem.

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Nice topic for break from news and politics.. thumb up!

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