Monday, August 3, 2009

'To Blossoms ' by Robert Herrick

Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,
Why do ye fall so fast?
Your date is not so past,
But you may stay yet here awhile
To blush and gently smile,
And go at last.

What, were ye born to be
An hour or half's delight,
And so to bid good-night?
'Twas pity Nature brought ye forth
Merely to show your worth,
And lose you quite.

But you are lovely leaves, where we
May read how soon things have
Their end, though ne'er so brave:
And after they have shown their pride
Like you, awhile, they glide
Into the grave.


pundette said...

It's not everyday I see the name Herrick pop up in my google reader. Thank you.

Reminds me a little of a much later poem --

Gerard Manley Hopkins: Spring and Fall: to a young child

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

Chris M. said...

"the blight man was born for" is good.
I get an image of Hopkins saying to his superior, "May I take some time to write a poem?"
"No, you should spend the time meditating on death," replies his superior.
And Hopkins replies, "I can do both at once."