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The Marigold

George Wither 1588 (Bentworth) – 1667



When with a serious musing I behold
The grateful and obsequious marigold,
How duly, ev'ry morning, she displays
Her open breast, when Titan spreads his rays;
How she observes him in his daily walk,
Still bending towards him her tender stalk;
How, when he down declines, she droops and mourns,
Bedew'd, as 'twere, with tears, till he returns;
And how she veils her flow'rs when he is gone,
As if she scorned to be looked on
By an inferior eye, or did contemn
To wait upon a meaner light than him;
When this I meditate, methinks the flowers
Have spirits far more generous than ours,
And give us fair examples to despise
The servile fawnings and idolatries
Wherewith we court these earthly things below,
Which merit not the service we bestow.

But, O my God! though groveling I appear
Upon the ground (and have a rooting here
Which hales me downward) yet in my desire
To that which is above me I aspire;
And all my best affections I profess
To Him that is the sun of righteousness.
Oh, keep the morning of His incarnation,
The burning noontide of His bitter passion,
The night of His descending, and the height
Of His ascension ever in my sight,
That imitating Him in what I may,
I never follow an inferior way.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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George Wither

George Wither was an English poet, pamphleteer, and satirist. He was a prolific writer who adopted a deliberate plainness of style; he was several times imprisoned. C. V. Wedgwood wrote "every so often in the barren acres of his verse is a stretch enlivened by real wit and observation, or fired with a sudden intensity of feeling". more…

All George Wither poems | George Wither Books

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