Edmund Waller’s “Song” – 1

Edmund Waller‘s  “Song”

Go, lovely rose!
Tell her that wastes her time and me
That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Tell her that’s young,
And shuns to have her graces spied,
That hadst thou sprung
In deserts where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.

Small is the worth
Of beauty from the light retired:
Bid her come forth,
Suffer herself to be desired,
And not blush so to be admired.

Then die—that she
The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee;
How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair!

AG: (And) this  (Edmund Waller’s “Go lovely, rose”)  may be, in some respects, the best, (of all the classic English lyrics)  because, both the ideas presented, and the cadence – the arrangement of the lines and the verses, the awareness of quantity, (or duration of syllables,) the breath in it for singing, make it one of the most lovely pieces of.. delicate pieces. or lovely pieces of air. of airs,  of cadence and vowels – And the sentiment is really pretty  (it’s just perfect if you’re trying to seduce someone!).

So… “Go..” – and it’s called “Song”, anyway –  and it begins “Go”,  and then it’s got a comma – So..  the… When I was a kid it used to be “Go-lovely rose-Tell-her-that -wastes-her-time-and-me-that-now-she-knows-when-I-resemble her-to thee-how-sweet-and-fair-she-seems-to-be” – da-da da-da da-da da-da da-da… –  but actually if you’re either speaking it or singing it (especially if you’re singing it), it’s “Go”, and then you’ve got to take a breath, and if you’re singing it, you have to sing “Go-oh-oh-oh”.  – or ” Goh”. or “Go”, or something but – “Go, lovely rose” – and I just think that’s great just at the beginning of that – “Da, da-da-da“. – Go, lovely rose/Tell her that wastes her time and me that now she knows”.

So that’s pretty good – “Go. lovely rose/tell her that wastes her time and me that now she knows’ – So, like. there’s three different, three different..there’s a “bam! “- and then  “da-da-da  and then a long “datta da-da  da-da datta da-da  da-da-da”

When I resemble her to thee,/How sweet and fair she seems to be” – So…
Go, lovely rose!/Tell her that wastes her time and me/,That now she knows/,When I resemble her to thee,/How sweet and fair she seems to be” – (“When I resemble – when I compare thee to her, when I compare her to you, rose” –  “Go, rose” – he’s sending his girlfriend a rose, with a message, as a message. to signify to her, or tell her, that she’s wasting her time and mine – in other words, she isn’t putting out ). He’s in love with her but she isn’t responding, she isn’t putting out. He wants to fuck her and she doesn’t want to, so he’s sending her a rose to warn her that when he said she’s as pretty as a rose, it was to tell her how really beautiful she is to him. She seems to him “sweet and fair”,  (sweet-smelling and fair)

“Tell her that’s young,/And shuns to have her graces spied” –  (and doesn’t want to be observed. doesn;t want to be flattered, doesn’t want to be spied on for her white bosom) – “Tell her that’s young,/And shuns to have her graces spied/That hadst thou sprung/In deserts where no men abide/Thou must have uncommended died” – (that is, if the rose had sprung in a desert, had grown in a desert where nobody would have ever have seen the rose, the rose would never have been noticed, never have been commended, never have been admired – same for her)

“Small is the worth/Of beauty from the light retired:/Bid her come forth,/Suffer herself to be desired,/And not blush so to be admired” – (that’s clear, he’s saying if beauty can’t be seen, if beauty,(is)  retired from visibility, or from light, (it) is not very… is not worth much – Well, that’s his opinion, but anyway, it’s his way of saying it) –

But then, he really switches to the girl directly – “Bid her come forth/,Suffer herself to be desired” –  (now “suffer” means what? – “suffer” means like “suffering”, it hurts, but also “allow”, it means “allow” in those days, allow and accept – .it’s like Christ saying “Suffer the little children to come unto me“? – let them, let the little children come unto me – allow them  to come unto me – “Suffer herself to be desired” – “Bid her come forth/,Suffer herself to be desired”‘ – “Suffer herself to be desired/And not blush so to be admired”  And then – Then he says – “Then die” —  (to the rose)  – “Then die/ that she/The common fate of all things rare/May read in thee/How small a part of time they share/That are so wondrous sweet and fair!” – (so that really cuts the mustard totally, and it’s actually what everybody thinks, everybody who’s had an urgent crush has had that poignant realzation that, you know, it’s an urgent crush on something that’s, like, as fragile and transient as a rose that’s going to pass – and if you don’t make it between the age of fifteen and.. sixteen!, you’re never gonna make it, it’s never gonna be such a rose again – like the cheeks are never gonna be so fair  (between sixteen and eighteen), nor the thigh so soft and ruddy, and the belly so trim, nor the genitals so sweet-smelling , (between fifteen and nineteen or so – or fifteen and  thirty, or even fifty) – but, pretty soon, the rose has withered.
And so that part of the urgency of having a crush and trying to make somebody is the realization that they don’t realize their own worth, don’t realize how good-looking they are, or how lovely, and they don’t realize they’re going to die, they think they’re going to hold out with that forever, hold out with that beauty forever, you know, (and) never give it away, so it’s great when he says, “”Suffer herself to be desired//And not blush so to be admired” –   

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approimately four-and-a-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately ten-and-a-half minutes in]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *