Archive for the ‘Cultivation’ Category

Bad Harvest

March 23, 2007

Venus and Adonis, [Dedication]. “Right honorable, I know not how I shall offend in dedicating my unpolish’d lines to your lordship, nor how the world will censure me for choosing so strong a prop to support so weak a burden; only if your honor seem but pleas’d, I account myself highly prais’d, and vow to take advantage of all idle hours, till I have honor’d you with some graver labor. But if the first heir of my invention prove deform’d, I shall be sorry it had so noble a godfather, and never after ear so barren a land, for fear it yield me still so bad a harvest. I leave it to your honorable survey, and your honor to your heart’s content; which I wish may always answer your own wish and the world’s hopeful expectation. Your honor’s in all duty,

William Shakespeare.”

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When I Consider Every Thing That Grows

March 5, 2007

Sonnets, [15]. “When I consider every thing that grows/ Holds in perfection but a little moment,/ That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows/ Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;/ When I perceive that men as plants increase,/ Cheered and check’d even by the self-same sky,/ And wear their brave state out of memory;/ Then the conceit of this inconstant stay/ Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,/ Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay/ To change your day of youth to sullied night;/ And all in war with Time for love of you,/ As he takes from you, I engraft you new.”

He Plowed Her And She Cropped

February 20, 2007

Antony and Cleopatra, [2.2.276-278]. “Royal wench!/ She made great Caesar lay his sword to bed./ He plowed her, and she cropped.”

Tillage

February 13, 2007

sonnets, [3]. “For where is she so fair whose unear’d womb/ Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry?”

Vine, darnel, cowslip, hemlock, fumitory, burnet, clover, dock, thistle, kecksy

January 18, 2007

Henry the Fifth, [5.2.33-59]. Burgundy. “…Why that the naked, poor, and mangled Peace,/ Should not, in this best garden of the world,/ our fertile France, put up her lovely visage?/ Alas, she hath from France too long been chased!/ And all her husbandry doth lie on heaps,/ Corrupting in it own fertitlity./ Her vine, the merry cheerer of the heart/ Unpruned dies; her hedges even-pleached, like prisoners wildly overgown with hair,/ Put forth disordered twigs; her fallow leas/ The darnel, hemlock and rank fumitory/ Doth root upon, while that the coulter rusts/ That should deracinate such savagery;/ The even mead, that erst brough sweetly forth/ The freckled cowslip, burnet, and green clover,/ Wanting the scythe, all uncorrected, rank,/ Conceives by idleness and nothing teems/ but hateful docks, rough thistles, kecksies, burrs,/ Losing both beauty and utility./ And all our vineyards, fallows, meads, and hedges, Defective in their natures, grow to wildness,/ Even so our houses, and ourselves, and children,/ Have lost, or do not learn for want of time,/ The sciences that should become our country; But grow like savages…”

*
France is again referred to as “the world’s best garden” in the epilogue, line seven.