A Brief Anthology of English Lyric

Allen at Naropa on “Basic Poetics” continuing from here

AG: So we’ll go back to Edmund Waller or do a bit more of (John) Milton. But I would like to get to Edmund Waller for a while, for a brief while. Is that alright? Is that… “Go, lovely rose”  (on page three-oh-five). And I’ll read that, and see how it works. I think of all the little lyrics we’ve gone over, this was the one like “Ask Me No More..” and “scepter and crown” (“Ask me no more..” was Carew)  – “Scepter and crown/Must crumble down/ And in the grave [editorial note – “in the dust”]  are equal made/ With the poor crooked scythe and spade”  (James Shirley), and Henry King‘s little “Like to the fading of a rose”  [editorial note – “Like to the falling of a star”] and that little “Go and Catch A Falling Star” of John Donne, and Ben Jonson‘s “Droop herbs and flowers/Fall fruits and showers [editorial note -“Fall grief in showers”]  “Drop drop drop drop..” poem,  and (Thomas) Campion‘s “Rose-cheek’d Laura, come..“, and a few others like that,  with Shakespeare‘s little “Full fathom five thy father lies”.  Maybe… I don’t know, what else is equally good? – “Come live with me and be my love”  by (Christopher) Marlowe and. the reply by (Walter) Raleigh. What others? – let’s see. what others we went through… Maybe also Raleigh’s “The Lie”, about “Tell zeal it wants devotion; tell love it is but lust” – and “They flee from me who sometime did me seek by Sir Thomas Wyatt, and “My lute perform the last service …that I must waste or something” [editorial note –My lute awake! perform the last/Labour that thou and I shall waste..”] – remember when he wakens his lute?, and “…. (“As you came from the holy land/of Walsingham” /”Met you not with my true love/ by the way as you came?”..   and.. what else have we done?  – Chaucer?  (“Your eyen two wol slee me sodenly/I may the beautè of hem not sustene”) –  and the Thomas Nashe poem I forgot to include “Brightness falls from the air/ Queens have died young and fair” -and “Western wind, when wilt thou blow”, and “I Sing of A Mayden” – and a few others I think are the most delicate and perfect and lovely and best constructed of all the English lyrics.

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

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