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A Song of a Young Lady to Her Ancient Lover -- John Wilmot

Guest poem submitted by Nick Blackburn:
(Poem #1058) A Song of a Young Lady to Her Ancient Lover
 Ancient Person, for whom I
 All the flattering youth defy,
 Long be it e'er thou grow old,
 Aching, shaking, crazy cold;
 But still continue as thou art,
 Ancient Person of my heart.

 On thy withered lips and dry,
 Which like barren furrows lie,
 Brooding kisses I will pour,
 Shall thy youthful heart restore,
 Such kind show'rs in autumn fall,
 And a second spring recall;
 Nor from thee will ever part,
 Ancient Person of my heart.

 Thy nobler parts, which but to name
 In our sex would be counted shame,
 By ages frozen grasp possest,
 From their ice shall be released,
 And, soothed by my reviving hand,
 In former warmth and vigour stand.
 All a lover's wish can reach,
 For thy joy my love shall teach;
 And for thy pleasure shall improve
 All that art can add to love.
 Yet still I love thee without art,
 Ancient Person of my heart.
-- John Wilmot
A fine poem from from my second best source (it's not the Minstrels, so it
must be the BBC's Something Understood). A fine compliment to Shakespeare's
sonnet CXXX ("My Mistress' Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun") and extremely


[Minstrels Links]

Just the one Wilmot poem so far:
Poem #669, Epigram on Charles II -- John Wilmot

Here's old Bill Shakespeare:
Poem #16, Full Fathom Five
Poem #44, My Mistress' Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun (Sonnets CXXX)
Poem #48, Pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth
Poem #71, Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day? (Sonnets XVIII)
Poem #126, Our revels now are ended
Poem #200, Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks
Poem #219, Full many a glorious morning have I seen (Sonnets XXXIII)
Poem #229, To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow
Poem #243, When that I was and a little tiny boy
Poem #312, Where the bee sucks
Poem #363, Let me not to the marriage of true minds (Sonnet CXVI)
Poem #413, Admired Miranda!
Poem #477, Fear no more the heat o' the sun
Poem #570, Come, Night; Come, Romeo
Poem #611, Winter
Poem #808, Not From The Stars Do I My Judgment Pluck (Sonnets XIV)
Poem #943, So is it not with me as with that Muse (Sonnets XXI)

30 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

ORDINARIOSANDI (A-SanJoseex1) said...

John Wilmot the poet, expresses emotions from the point of
view of a young girl in love with an old man. It reminds
me of a personal episode where I a retired rascal, recently
became madly in love with a teen. I still contend that the
whole affair is not in a strictly physical as an intellectual
(or better yet, a spiritual) sense if ever there was one.

All the girl's young fiends defy (better yet condemn) the
existing relationship between her and her "Ancient Lover"
yet she hopes even with this peer rejection that her man
will continue with his intimate regard of her.

The second stanza describes her hopes that her tenderness,
her care for him will one day restore his early passions
altogether resulting in his physical renewal forever. She
keeps on dreaming of course extending such hope to their
love-making. She hopes that her inherent warmth and youthful
vigor may strengthen her lover's desire through her hard
work to heighten his own joy and pleasure. She calls what
she is doing "art". It can be construed as almost a sacrifice
for the beloved but even without such an "art" she says:

Yet still I love thee without art
Ancient Person of my heart.

It is easy to interpret this poem in a higher spiritual
level where the Ancient Person represents God or Christ
but my analysis is restricted more to a literal sense with
the delusion that Milady might eventually have the same
feelings as the girl in this poem for me.


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The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our prides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that's the burden of a year.

ANGIE said...

okay, what would be the theme of this poem? I am stuck on that one. Any ideas?? By the way great poem I love this one.

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Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the rhythm and meter of this poem is?

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