On My First Daughter
Here lies, to each her parents' ruth,'
Mary, the daughter of their youth;
Yet all heaven's gifts being heaven's due,
It makes the father less to rue 2.
5 At six months' end she parted hence
With safety of her innocence;
Whose soul heaven's queen, whose name she bears,
In comfort of her mother's tears,
Hath placed amongst her virgintrain:
lo Where, while that severed doth remain,'
This grave partakes the fleshly birth;
Which cover lightly, gentle earth!
1. ruth, grief or pity. 2. rue, regret. 3. severed doth remain, body and soul, separated at death, be reunited at the Resurrection.
I sing of brooks, of blossoms, birds, and bowers,
Of April, May, of June, and July flowers.
I sing of Maypoles, hock carts, wassails, wakes2 ,
Of bridegrooms, brides, and of their bridal cakes.
5 I write of youth, of love, and have access
By these to sing of cleanly wantonness.3
I sing of dews, of rains, and, piece by piece,
Of balm, of oil, of spice, and ambergris4 .
I sing of times transshifting, and I write
10 How roses first came red and lilies white.
I write of groves, of twilights, and I sing
The court of Mab and of the Fairy King.5
I write of hell; I sing (and ever shall)
Of heaven, and hope to have it after all.
1. Argument, subject matter, summary of the contents. 2. hock ... wakes. Hock carts carried home the last load of the harvest; wassails are revels or parties; wakes refer to parish festivals. 3. cleanly wantonness, good fun. 4. ambergris, an ingredient used in making perfumes. 5. Mab ... King. Mab is Queen of the Fairies, and Oberon is the Fairy King