Poems

New and selected by Social Sculpture USA members

 

On a Drop of Dew    

 by Andrew Marvell (1621-1681

 

                                                                See how the orient dew,

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 its self incloses;

And in its little globe’s extent,

Frames as it can its native element.

            How it the purple flower does slight

                        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,

                        Trembling lest it grow impure:

            Till the warm sun pities its pain,

And to the skies exhale it back again.

                        So the soul, that drop, that ray

Of the clear fountain of Eternal Day,

Could it within the human flower be seen,

            Rememb’ring 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,

                        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:

            How girt and ready to ascend.

            Moving but on a point below,

            It all about does upward bend.

Such did the manna’s sacred dew distill;

White, and entire, though congealed and chill.

Congealed on earth: but does, dissolving, run

Into the glories of th’ Almighty Sun.

 

published posthumously in Miscellaneous Poems 1681 

 

You never enjoy the world aright till the sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens and crowned with the stars; and perceive yourself to be the sole heir of the whole world, and more than so, because men are in it who are every one sole heirs as well as you. Till you can sing and rejoice and delight in God, as
misers do in gold, and kings in sceptres, you can never enjoy the world...'

 -- Thomas Traherne