All About Books discussion

11 views
The Monday Poem > Corinna’s Going a-Maying - Robert Herrick (23rd May 2018)

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Beth (last edited Jul 03, 2018 09:10PM) (new)

Beth | 407 comments Corinna’s Going a-Maying

Get up, get up for shame! The blooming morn
Upon her wings presents the god unshorn.
See how Aurora throws her fair
Fresh-quilted colors through the air:
Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see
The dew bespangling herb and tree!
Each flower has wept and bowed toward the east
Above an hour since, yet you not dressed;
Nay! not so much as out of bed?
When all the birds have matins said
And sung their thankful hymns, ‘tis sin,
Nay, profanation, to keep in,
Whenas a thousand virgins on this day
Spring, sooner than the lark, to fetch in May.

Rise and put on your foliage, and be seen
To come forth, like the spring-time, fresh and green,
And sweet as Flora. Take no care
For jewels for your gown or hair:
Fear not; the leaves will strew
Gems in abundance upon you:
Besides, the childhood of the day has kept,
Against you come, some orient pearls unwept.
Come, and receive them while the light
Hangs on the dew-locks of the night:
And Titan on the eastern hill
Retires himself, or else stands still
Till you come forth! Wash, dress, be brief in praying:
Few beads are best when once we go a-Maying.

Come, my Corinna, come; and coming, mark
How each field turns a street, each street a park,
Made green and trimmed with trees! see how
Devotion gives each house a bough
Or branch! each porch, each door, ere this,
An ark, a tabernacle is,
Made up of white-thorn neatly interwove,
As if here were those cooler shades of love.
Can such delights be in the street
And open fields, and we not see it?
Come, we’ll abroad: and let ‘s obey
The proclamation made for May,
And sin no more, as we have done, by staying;
But, my Corinna, come, let ‘s go a-Maying.

There ‘s not a budding boy or girl this day
But is got up and gone to bring in May.
A deal of youth ere this is come
Back, and with white-thorn laden home.
Some have despatched their cakes and cream,
Before that we have left to dream:
And some have wept and woo’d, and plighted troth,
And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth:
Many a green-gown has been given,
Many a kiss, both odd and even:
Many a glance, too, has been sent
From out the eye, love’s firmament:
Many a jest told of the keys betraying
This night, and locks picked: yet we’re not a-Maying!

Come, let us go, while we are in our prime,
And take the harmless folly of the time!
We shall grow old apace, and die
Before we know our liberty.
Our life is short, and our days run
As fast away as does the sun.
And, as a vapor or a drop of rain,
Once lost, can ne’er be found again,
So when or you or I are made
A fable, song, or fleeting shade,
All love, all liking, all delight
Lies drowned with us in endless night.
Then, while time serves, and we are but decaying,
Come, my Corinna, come, let’s go a-Maying.

From The Top 500 Poems where I found this one: Here is a 'carpe diem' poem urging the almost literal seizure of the day (see Herrick’s "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time.") Since ‘Corinna’ could be a derivative of ‘Cora,’ another name for Persephone, the poem gains a dimension from classical myth that adds complexity and profundity, although the mischievous Herrick is not above mildly lewd jests about keys and locks. [editor's notes]


message 2: by B the BookAddict (last edited May 21, 2018 01:24PM) (new)

B the BookAddict (bthebookaddict) | 8315 comments Lovely, Beth.


message 3: by Beth (last edited Jul 03, 2018 09:10PM) (new)

Beth | 407 comments Here's a link with some helpful annotations. I meant to add this earlier but better late than never.

https://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poems...


message 4: by Darrick (new)

Darrick Williams | 34 comments This is a beautiful poem which highlights the beauty of nature in May. I love the urgency of the poem’s pace from the first line as if you don't get up for nothing else, least, “Get up, get up for shame!” The imagery of the nature in the poem is great. Also, I love how excited the narrator is about all the beautiful things of May, and all the things that are happening around him.

S/he seems to know Corinna well. When s/he says to her “Take no care for jewels for your gown or hair: Fear not; the leaves will strew Gems in abundance upon you.” I feel it’s about getting outside, running around and taking in the beauty that’s around you.

One of the best stanzas is when the narrator says to Corinna:

“Come, let us go, while we are in our prime,
And take the harmless folly of the time!
We shall grow old apace, and die
Before we know our liberty.
Our life is short, and our days run
As fast away as does the sun.”


message 5: by Greg (new)

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
Darrick wrote: "This is a beautiful poem which highlights the beauty of nature in May. I love the urgency of the poem’s pace from the first line as if you don't get up for nothing else, least, “Get up, get up for ..."

I see this poem much as you do Darrick.

Thanks for posting Beth; I hadn't heard of this one by Harrick, though I've read the other one you mention, "To the Virgins, to make much of time." Time does pass too fast, isn't that the truth!!


message 6: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 12295 comments Mod
Can't believe I missed this poem, it was lovely to read. I don't think I've heard of Harrick before.


back to top