PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Subha Mukherji Dying and Living with De la Mare Carl Phillips Fall Colors and other poems Alex Wylie The Bureaucratic Sublime: on the secret joys of contemporary poetry Marilyn Hacker Montpeyroux Sonnets David Herman Memories of Raymond Williams
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

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. ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image