Saturday, May 4, 2024

Photo of the Day: A Product of ‘Long'd for May’)

“Now doe a quire of chirping Minstrels bring
In tryumph to the world, the youthfull Spring.
The Vallies, hills, and woods, in rich araye,
Welcome the comming of the long'd for May.”—English poet Thomas Carew (1595?-1639?), “The Spring,” in Restoration and Augustan Poets: Milton to Goldsmith, edited by W. H. Auden and Norman Holmes Pearson (1965)
It might be hard to believe, but I came across this blooming bit of flora outside a building in a bustling Bergen County, NJ suburb this week.
It was a far different environment from the one in which Thomas Carew wrote his poem. 

When he wasn’t busy serving as sewer in ordinary” (i.e., the guy who tasted the royal food first before passing it on, thus preventing the possibility of poison) to King Charles I or leading the “Cavalier poets” who supported the monarch in the tumult leading up to and through the English Civil War, he was also pursuing a variety of ladies.
And so, lest you think that “The Spring” is some sort of ancestor of Wordsworth in its ecstatic embrace of Nature, it is really Carew’s attempt to woo a woman keeping him at bay—a lady with “June in her eyes, in her heart January.”

No comments: