Friday, February 14, 2014
To His Coy Mistress/smoke 'em if ya got 'em
To His Coy Mistress
Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love's day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
   But at my back I always hear
Time's wing├Ęd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song: then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
   Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

Andrew Marvell (1621 - 1678)

A very romantic, sexy, bawdy traipse, this poem is, and yet a slyly crafted revelation of the author's  urgency. Marvell was one of the Metaphysical poets and a contemporary of John Donne (Death Be Not Proud) who had a few pulse-quickening verses of his own. It's a bit insulting, really. Was the poet THAT charming to be around? Maybe he had malodorous breath and the lady was merely being polite rather than coy? We shall never know, since Marvell wrote the history and His Coy Mistress could have been, oh, anyone, or may never have been at all.

When first I read To His Coy Mistress some weeks ago, the verse was a delight and an absolute revelation.  That one can couch such abject sensuality and rude impatience in such polite and wheedling tone is a marvel, indeed. Did I say pulse-quickening?  Brainy is the ultimate hotness.

Where was I?  Oh.  Yes.

When I first read this I chuckled several times as I made my way through the text.  Brilliantly structured and layered with manifold meaning, this confect is the verbal manifestation of a croissant, I think.  This also called to mind (if memory serves, but I just had a glass of champagne, so don't hold me to it!) the verse of a 19th century poet - either Baudelaire or Verlaine - in which he chides the object of his lust for hanging onto her virginity(that old thing!), as she'll soon be worm food in the grave and may as well not have a bothersome thing like virtue hanging about.  I find that approach crass and laughable, though I do see the point.

By brooks too broad for leaping
    Those light-foot boys are laid
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping
    In fields where roses fade
A. E. Houseman

It's all just repetition on a theme, as man is a giddy thing.  Love, though, is still worth having, in its many forms, and not just of the romantic stripe.  Love for dear ones and darling pets is one of the few profound and worthwhile things a person can do.

I hope you've had a lovely Valentine's Day and have spent at least a tiny portion of it in celebration of people and pets you love.  I took a nice walk for a couple of miles with my sweetheart, and it was a clear, bright night, and the Pleiades were in view. Maybe that's why the poetry Muse descended.

May you have the sweetest of dreams.

Written by phlegmfatale
3 cared enough to comment!

Name: Phlegmfatale
Location: Elsewhere, Texas, USA

I'm not whining;
I'm unburdening.

Learn more here

September 2002

November 2002

January 2003

March 2003

June 2003

July 2003

August 2003

September 2003

October 2003

November 2003

December 2003

January 2004

February 2004

March 2004

April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

March 2005

April 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

December 2014

January 2015

February 2015

March 2015

April 2015

May 2015

June 2015

July 2015

August 2015

September 2015

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

October 2016

December 2016

January 2017

March 2017

April 2017

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

October 2017

Who links to me?