Wednesday, January 16, 2013

16 January 2013 “17th Century Gardens & Poems, Alan Titchmarsh, Robert Herrick”

I was thinking of gardens today and recalled the wonderful series Alan Titchmarsh had done. He covers multiple centuries, but I thought we could start with the 17th today. What is lovely about this presentation is the applications we can make to our own homes.

Here is part one and the other four parts can be found on my channel under Gardens Historical and Contemporary.

 Robert_Herrick_(poet) As we are in the 17th century I thought I would mention Robert Herrick. A poet of the day. Many may know his poem To the Virgins, To make much of time:
To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time
by Robert Herrick (1591-1674)
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.

I thought I would share his words on the daffodil, as we are in the Garden today. Here is a bit about the poet followed by his poem written and read aloud:
Robert Herrick was born in Cheapside, London, in 1591, the seventh child of Nicholas Herrick, a prosperous goldsmith. In November 1592, two days after making a will, Nicholas killed himself by jumping from the fourth-floor window of his house. The Queen's Almoner had to be paid a £220 fee for not to confiscate the Herrick estate for the crown as was usually the case with suicides. There is no record of Herrick attending school, although it is possible he attended Westminster School.  In 1607 he became apprenticed to his uncle Sir William Herrick as a goldsmith.
      Herrick entered St. John's College, Cambridge in 1613, graduated a Bachelor of Arts in 1617, and Master of Arts in 1620. He became the eldest of the "Sons of Ben", Cavalier poets who idolized Ben Jonson, mixing in literary circles in London. On April 24, 1623 Herrick was ordained an Episcopal minister and acted as chaplain to Buckingham on the expedition to the Île de Ré. In 1629 he was appointed by Charles I to the living of Dean Prior in the diocese of Exeter, a post he reluctantly accepted. There, in Devon, he lived in the seclusion of country life, and wrote some of his best work, never completely ceasing, however, to long for the pleasures of London.
      In 1647, under the Commonwealth, he was expelled from the priory by the Protectorate government for refusing the Solemn League and Covenant, and returned to London. In 1648 Herrick published his major collection, Hesperides, consisting of 1200 poems. Included separately in Hesperides was the subsection Noble Numbers, for the poems with sacred subjects. With the restoration of Charles II in 1660 he was returned to Devon where he died and was buried a bachelor in 1674 at the age of eighty-three. (Thanks to
Fair Daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon.
Stay, stay,
Until the hasting day
Has run
But to the even-song;
And, having pray'd together, we
Will go with you along.
We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or anything.
We die
As your hours do, and dry
Like to the summer's rain;
Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.

robertherrick The book of lyrical poems by Herrick can be found for free in the library under Poetry.
I hope all have a lovely day and spend a few minutes dreaming of gardens or, perhaps, ‘gathering ye rosebuds while ye may’.

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