Saturday, February 20, 2010

Two Tributes

I know that all beneath the moon decays,
And what by mortals in this world is brought,
In Time’s great periods shall return to nought;
That fairest states have fatal nights and days;
I know how all the Muse’s heavenly lays,
With toil of sprite which are so dearly bought,
As idle sounds, of few or none are sought,
And that nought lighter is than airy praise;
I know frail beauty like the purple flower,
To which one morn both birth an death affords;
That love a jarring is of mind’s accords,
Where sense and will invassal reason’s power:
   Know what I list, this all can not me move,
   But that, O me! I both must write and love.

        William Drummond of Hawthornden 1585-1649


I will not marvel more at spiring mount
Than at the flowering stem that God has grown,
Nor oceans strangest beauties will I count
More grand than common truths that God has shown.

I will not love him more who with his wealth
Will build an edifice unto his god
Than him who in his love will spend his health
To grow a passing flower for his God.

William Drummond of Hawthornden wrote this poem, and apparently most
of his poems, after the woman he loved died young. I feel like I can relate to his sentiment that, even though everything falls apart in this mortal life, he can't help loving and creating. I wrote mine while on my mission after hearing of my grandpa's death. He was a botanist, and a dedicated gardener until his death, even when it took him most of the day just to get out to the garden and back in for meals.