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21 December 2005

go, lovely rose

not sure if i've ever mentioned this before, and not like you ever could guess from hearing me sing now, but when i was in college i sang classical a cappella music with a lovely bunch of folks (represent). some of those songs still pop in my head now and again, and just now in the shower one came to me that used to absolutely destroy me. i don't have a recording handy and i don't even remember who wrote the arrangement we sang, but i was able to find the poem it was set to. by a guy named edmund waller.

  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 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!

believe me when i say i don't plan on making a habit of posting poetry up here. i positively can't stand when people do that. but it's ok to break your own rules once in a while.

the thing is, i guess, that this is almost a completely different language. it could never be written today. or, if it were, you can bet i wouldn't take it seriously. but it was written long ago about a beautiful girl who by now is dust and that just kills me.

also. we're all fucked.


  1. Don't you love it how music that you used to sing haunts you? Madrigals make me miss singing like crazy, dude. wow. I think the coolest musical vocal experience I had was at Eastern Regionals one year, and they did a guys' only piece... I was standing right in front of the guys, between the two sections, and I thought the music was going to just carry me away... like I could have leaned back and it would have caught me. Wild.

    For me, there are a few songs that get me... Lonesome Road, Irish Blessing, and the one mentioned above, down in the valley. Thanks for bringing back that memory, it's a good one :)

    And I think you're right, there's a whole type of language that's effectively lost, these days. Harrumph.

  2. yeah, we used to do loch lomond and danny boy and both of those tore me apart too. they just don't write them like they used to.

  3. Ain't that the truth, brother.

  4. As a side note, didn't Andy Foreman write the version we sang of that song? That guy could write real purty songs, I tell you what.