Friday, April 30, 2010

The Primrose


Upon this Primrose hill,
Where, if Heav'n would distil
A shower of rain, each several drop might go
To his own primrose, and grow manna so;
And where their form and their infinity
Make a terrestrial Galaxy,
As the small stars do in the sky:
I walk to find a true Love; and I see
That 'tis not a mere woman that is she,
But must or more or less than woman be.


Yet know I not which flower
I wish; a six, or four;
For should my true-Love less than woman be
She were scarce any thing; and then, should she
Be more than woman she would get above
All thought of sex, and think to move
My heart to study her, and not to love;
Both these were monsters; since there must reside
Falsehood in woman, I could more abide
She were by art than Nature falsified.


Live primrose then, and thrive
With thy true number five;
And woman, whom this flower doth represent,
With this mysterious number be content;
Ten is the farthest number; if half ten
Belong unto each woman, then
Each woman may take half us men;
Or if this will not serve their turn, since all
Numbers are odd or even, and they fall
First into this, five, woman may take us all.


John Donne
English Jacobean Poet
1572 - 1631


Centuries later, primroses continue to enchant humans.

Read my short review of Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic
 The Spring Cleaning.

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