Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The last of the daffodills

This is the last of the daffodills on the cut. And one of the last of the celandines, looking like a little picture of the sun from an old map. (Sometimes they go like that as they die.)

The last of the daffodils gives means it's the last chance to include the Daffodils Poem by Herrick

To Daffodils

FAIR Daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon:
As yet the early-rising Sun
Has not attain'd his noon.
Stay, stay,
Until the hasting day
Has run
But to the even-song;
And, having pray'd together, we
Will go with you along.

We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a Spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay
As you, or any thing.
We die,
As your hours do, and dry
Like to the Summer's rain;
Or as the pearls of morning's dew
Ne'er to be found again.

"Why is poetry always about death?" One of my classmates once asked this and was fobbed off with some dismissiive answer. "Don't be silly!" I expect. But it's a pretty deep question that continues to bug me. My answer is that some things are too deep for prose, death and love and spring being high on the list of such things. (Strangely enough when I was reading about the "Doctrine of Signatures" for this blog - see "Comparisons, changes and Celandines" - I found that the doctrine says that God gave us messages in symbols because they had so much more meaning than words.)

Anyway most of Herrick's verse was far away from death and all about women.

Upon Julia's Clothes

WHENAS in silks my Julia goes
Then, then, (methinks) how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes.
Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave vibration each way free;
Oh, how that glittering taketh me!

"Liquefication" seems so wonderful and here's one that never made it to the school anthology(I wonder why!)

On Julia's Nipples

Have ye beheld (with much delight)
A red rose peeping through a white?
Or else a cherry (double graced)
Within a lily? Centre placed?
Or ever marked the pretty beam
A strawberry shows half drowned in cream?
Or seen rich rubies blushing through
A pure smooth pearl, and orient too?
So like to this, nay all the rest,
Is each neat niplet of her breast

It seems that Julia was probably imaginary. Rather sad really, but perhaps it made for an easier life for Herrick as he also wrote poems to Anthea, Cynthia, Perina, Perella and many more besides, probably, say the historians, all imaginary. He never got married perhaps the poems tell us why. Herrick had a big patrician nose and was a cleric during the English civil war. Here's a link to his life

Robert Herrick
Was an odd sort of cleric.
John Donne
Was another one.

So wrote Ogden Nash and here's another link for him. Because I love him too.

So back to the cut. The bluebells are make the big show now and the leaves of the huge oak can at last be seen greenish on the top of the tree when you get far enough away. The Bluebells are the English ones which bend over at the top. Spanish ones are bigger and are usually the cultivated ones. Bluebell juice is supposed to cure snake bites but I wouldn't try it if I were you.

I spent ages looking for a nice poem about Bluebells and found some awful ones - particularly one by Anne Bronte. But you can always rely on "Flower Faries" That woman, Cicely Mary Barker, wrote poems about every wild flower you can think of and none of them a real bummer. The fact that a flower was called "Stitchwort" or "Viper's Bugloss" or "Lesser Ragwort" didn't stop her. There is a fairy, and a picture, and a poem for them all. Follow the link in the poem title to see the illustrations which are the real joy of the Flower Fairy books.


My hundred thousand bells of blue,
The splendour of the Spring,
They carpet all the woods anew
With royalty of sapphire hue;
The Primrose is the Queen, 'tis true.
But surely I am King!
Ah yes,
The peerless Woodland King!

Loud, loud the thrushes sing their song;
The bluebell woods are wide;
My stems are tall and straight and strong;
From ugly streets the children throng,
They gather armfuls, great and long,
Then home they troop in pride
Ah yes,
With laughter and with pride!

Enough for today. Nick


Blogger Lucy said...

Come on oldnick, post another entry, we're getting desperate!

9:48 am  

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