This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Saturday Rave: I Loved a Lass by George Wither.

Poetry can be magnificent, passionate, delicate, intelligent, original and dazzling.

Sometimes it's not.

Most of George Wither's poetry is generally reckoned to come into the not category, but are wonderful things here and there: and sometimes, remarkably, even the stuff that's not has a marvellous freshness, and enough cheek to cheer the day.

As far as I'm concerned that's plenty to justify its existence. 

The whole of I Loved a Lass can be found HERE, but this is the opening stanza. It manages to be tragic and cliched and not very accomplished - and yet I still can't help feeling affection for it.

I loved a lass, a fair one,
As fair as e'er was seen;
She was indeed a rare one,
Another Sheba queen.
But, fool as then I was,
I thought she loved me too,
But now, alas, she's left me,
Falero, lero, loo.

I only wish I knew how he did it.

Word To Use Today: alas.  This word comes from the Old French ha las! from the Latin lassus, weary.

I'm wondering if part of the attraction comes from the feeling that the lover of the poem is an ordinary man, and not some rarefied being living on Parnassus.

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