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This article is taken from PN Review 17, Volume 7 Number 3, January - February 1981.

Notes on Setting a Poem of Marvell Robin Holloway


See how the orient dew, 1
Shed from the bosom of the morn
  Into the blowing roses,
Yet careless of its mansion new;
For the clear region where 'twas born
  Round in itself encloses:
  And in its little globe's extent
Frames as it can its native element.
How it the purple flow'r does slight, 9
  Scarce touching where it lies,
But gazing back upon the skies,
  Shines with a mournful light;
  Like its own tear,
Because so long divided from the sphere.
Restless it rolls and unsecure, 15
  Trembling lest it grow impure:
Till the warm sun pity its pain,
And to the skies exhale it back again.
  So the Soul, that drop, that ray 19
Of the clear fountain of eternal day,
Could it within the human flow'r be seen,
  Remembering still its former height,
  Shuns the sweet leaves and blossoms green;
  And, recollecting its own light,
Does, in its pure and circling thoughts, express
The greater heaven in an heaven less.
  In how coy a figure wound, 27
Every way it turns away:
So the world excluding round,
Yet receiving in the day.
Dark beneath, but bright above:
Here disdaining, there in love.
  How loose and easy hence to go: 33
  How girt and ready to ascend. ...

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