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On a Drop of Dew
by Andrew Marvell

English poet. His early work had echoes of Cavalier poets like Lovelace and Cleveland, but he is now regarded as one of the best metaphysical poets. His finest poems include The Garden, Upon Appleton House, An Horatian Ode: Upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland. He wrote prose and verse satires which were the best before Dryden's, but are no longer well known. His reputation as a lyric poet is built on To His Coy Mistress, a classic in metaphysical poetry and ranked alongside the best secular poems of John Donne.


On a Drop of Dew
by Andrew Marvell

See how the orient dew,
Shed from the bosom of the morn
Into the blowing roses,
Yet careless of its mansion new,
For the clear region where 'twas born
Round in its self incloses,
And in its little globe's extent
Frames as it can its native element.
How it the purple flow'r does slight,
Scarce touching where it lies,
But gazing back upon the skies,
Shines with a mournful light;
Like its own tear,
Because so long divided from the sphere.
Restless it rolls and unsecure,
Trembling lest it grow impure,
Till the warm sun pity its pain,
And to the skies exhale it back again.
So the soul, that drop, that ray
Of the clear fountain of eternal day,
Could it within the human flow'r be seen,
Rememb'ring still its former height,
Shuns the sweet leaves and blossoms green;
And, recollecting its own light,
Does, in its pure and circling thoughts, express
The greater Heaven in an Heaven less.
In how coy a figure wound
Every way it turns away:
So the world excluding round,
Yet receiving in the day.
Dark beneath, but bright above:
Here disdaining, there in love.
How loose and easy hence to go:
How girt and ready to ascend.
Moving but on a point below,
It all about does upwards bend.
Such did the manna's sacred dew distil;
White and intire, though congealed and chill.
Congealed on earth: but does, dissolving, run
Into the glories of th' Almighty Sun.


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