Thursday, February 27, 2014

Shakespeare: Bridal Song

ROSES, their sharp spines being gone, 
Not royal in their smells alone, 
   But in their hue; 
Maiden pinks, of odour faint, 
Daisies smell-less, yet most quaint, 
   And sweet thyme true; 

Primrose, firstborn child of Ver; 
Merry springtime's harbinger, 
   With her bells dim; 
Oxlips in their cradles growing, 
Marigolds on death-beds blowing, 
   Larks'-heels trim; 

All dear Nature's children sweet 
Lie 'fore bride and bridegroom's feet, 
   Blessing their sense! 
Not an angel of the air
Bird melodious or bird fair, 
   Be absent hence! 

The crow, the slanderous cuckoo, nor 
The boding raven, nor chough hoar, 
   Nor chattering pye, 
May on our bride-house perch or sing, 

Or with them any discord bring, 
   But from it fly!


From whats I understand, through this poem Shakespeare is inviting the good within everything available in nature such as a rose flower into the bridal home to bless the bride and her bride groom. This is exemplified in the first line "ROSES, their sharp spines being gone," the meaning behind this poem is not negative, but optimistic of love even after locking ball-in-chain to yourself in marriage. I sense the unending , joy, passion and devotion. His reference to essential oils and herbs is amazing and to their credit of healing or destructive properties. In the song, the singer describes a long list of different kinds of flowers"roses,pinks,daises, primroses and so on, and then sings: "A dear nature's children sweet lie 'fore bride  and bride groom's feet, blessing their sense," The stage direction then has the boy suit the action the action to the word and strew flowers before the bride and bride groom's feet. He then calls upon the birds to sing for the wedding,but not ones with ugly voices,like the raven and chough.   
In line 20 Shakespeare uses assonance on the "o" sound to add emphasis on the raven sound. The tone of this poem is loving. 

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