Saturday, October 21, 2006

English Poetry: The Rose by William Browne

The Rose

ROSE, as fair as ever saw the North,
Grew in a little garden all alone;
A sweeter flower did Nature ne'er put forth,
Nor fairer garden yet was never known:
The maidens danced about it morn and noon,
And learned bards of it their ditties made;
The nimble fairies by the pale-faced moon
Water'd the root and kiss'd her pretty shade.
But well-a-day!—the gardener careless grew;
The maids and fairies both were kept away,
And in a drought the caterpillars threw
Themselves upon the bud and every spray.
God shield the stock! If heaven send no supplies,
The fairest blossom of the garden dies.

William Browne (1588 - 1643)

I don't know if Browne intended it that way, but I like to think of the "rose" in this poem as England. Our government is the "garderner" who has grown careless and the "caterpillars" of devolution are feeding on the "buds and spray" of England at this very moment.

Will the fairest blossom of the garden die?

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