Friday, 16 September 2011

Ye Living Lamps

If ever a poem would be improved by shaving off its last stanza, it's this Marvell:
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 country 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.
You think it's a poem about the natural world, as illuminated beautifully as any medieval MSS? No, it's a poem about him wanting to shag Juliana. Boo!

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