Prelude Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


From The Shepherd's HuntingA
Seest thou not in clearest daysB
Oft thick fogs cloud Heaven's raysB
And that vapours which do breatheC
From the Earth's gross womb beneathD
Seem unto us with black steamsE
To pollute the Sun's bright beamsE
And yet vanish into airF
Leaving it unblemished fairF
So my Willy shall it beG
With Detraction's breath on theeG
It shall never rise so highH
As to stain thy poesyE
As that sun doth oft exhaleI
Vapours from each rotten valeI
Poesy so sometime drainsE
Gross conceits from muddy brainsE
Mists of envy fogs of spiteJ
Twixt men's judgments and her lightJ
But so much her power may doK
That she can dissolve them tooK
If thy verse do bravely towerL
As she makes wing she gets powerL
Yet the higher she doth soarM
She's affronted still the moreM
Till she to the highest hath pastN
Then she rests with Fame at lastN
Let nought therefore thee affrightN
But make forward in thy flightN
For if I could match thy rhymeO
To the very stars I'd climbO
There begin again and flyH
Till I reached eternityN
But alas my Muse is slowP
For thy place she flags too lowP
Yea the more's her hapless fateN
Her short wings were clipt of lateN
And poor I her fortune ruingA
Am put up myself a mewingA
But if I my cage can ridN
I'll fly where I never didN
And though for her sake I'm crostN
Though my best hopes I have lostN
And knew she would make my troubleQ
Ten times more than ten times doubleQ
I should love and keep her tooN
Spite of all the world could doN
For though banished from my flocksE
And confined within these rocksE
Here I waste away the lightN
And consume the sullen nightN
She doth for my comfort stayN
And keeps many cares awayN
Though I miss the flowery fieldsE
With those sweets the spring tide yieldsE
Though I may not see those grovesE
Where the shepherds chaunt their lovesE
And the lasses more excelR
Than the sweet voiced PhilomelR
Though of all those pleasures pastN
Nothing now remains at lastN
But Remembrance poor reliefS
That more makes than mends my griefS
She's my mind's companion stillR
Maugre envy's evil willR
Whence she should be driven tooN
Were't in mortal's power to doN
She doth tell me where to borrowP
Comfort in the midst of sorrowP
Makes the desolatest placeE
To her presence be a graceE
And the blackest discontentsE
To be pleasing ornamentsE
In my former days of blissE
Her divine skill taught me thisE
That from everything I sawE
I could some invention drawE
And raise pleasure to her heightN
Through the meanest object's sightN
By the murmur of a springA
Or the least bough's rustlingA
By a daisy whose leaves spreadN
Shut when Titan goes to bedN
Or a shady bush or treeN
She could more infuse in meN
Than all Nature's beauties canT
In some other wiser manT
By her help I also nowU
Make this churlish place allowU
Some things that may sweeten gladnessE
In the very gall of sadnessE
The dull loneness the black shadeN
That these hanging vaults have madeN
The strange music of the wavesE
Beating on these hollow cavesE
This black den which rocks embossE
Overgrown with eldest mossE
The rude portals that give lightN
More to terror than delightN
This my chamber of neglectN
Walled about with disrespectN
From all these and this dull airF
A fit object for despairF
She hath taught me by her mightN
To draw comfort and delightN
Therefore thou best earthly blissE
I will cherish thee for thisE
Poesy thou sweet'st contentN
That e'er Heaven to mortals lentN
Though they as a trifle leave theeN
Whose dull thoughts cannot conceive theeN
Though thou be to them a scornV
That to nought but earth are bornV
Let my life no longer beN
Than I am in love with theeN
Though our wise ones call thee madnessE
Let me never taste of gladnessE
If I love not thy maddest fitsE
More than all their greatest witsE
And though some too seeming holyN
Do account thy raptures follyN
Thou dost teach me to contemnV
What makes knaves and fools of themW

George Wither


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