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Explication of Edmund Waller’s
“Go, Lovely Rose”
“Go, lovely rose,
Tell her that wastes her time and me
That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.
Tell her that’s young
And shuns to have her graces spied,
That hadst thou sprung
In deserts where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.
Small is of the worth
Of beauty from the light retired:
Bid her come forth,
Suffer herself to be desired,
And not blush so to be admired.
Then die, that she
The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee,
How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair.”
“Go, Lovely Rose”, by Edmund Waller, is a passionate lyrical poem in which a youthful man expresses his intense understanding of the importance of love.He sends a rose to his beloved to “Tell her that [she] wastes her time and me [him]” (2) by acting shy and staying out of sight. This young lover is trying to tell his beloved that their time is too short for all things trivial. In sending the rose, his purpose is to show her what glory and happiness can come in forgetting society and letting her feelings free to show her a more magical path through life. The speaker of this poem tries to convey the importance of his message, this eagerness of his, by suggesting they enjoy their moment in love.
In the first stanza, the young lover is commanding a rose to go and deliver a message of the urgency of his love to his sweetheart. He commands the rose to “tell her” that she is wasting their precious youth by acting ignorant when she knows that he admires her. He “resembles her to thee [the rose]” (4), and discovers “How sweet and fair she seems to be” (5). He uses the rose as a metaphoric symbol of her beauty. He compares her to the rose because, like all humans (yes, even women...!) roses are momentarily beautiful, but fades and lasts only for a...
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