Thursday, May 27, 2010

"The Mower to the Glowworms" by Andrew Marvell

The Mower to the Glowworms

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 princes funeral,
Shining unto no higher end
Than to presage the grass's fall;

Ye glowworms, whose officious flame
To wandering 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 displaced
That I shall never find my home.

Source of the text - Andrew Marvell, Andrew Marvell: The Complete Poems, edited by Elizabeth Story Donno.  New York: Penguin Books, 1972, p. 109.

TJB: Love-distracted mower cautions glowworms against light-waste. More powerful illumination apparently not contemplated. Why do mowers wander?

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