'An Ode to Master Anthony Stafford, to Hasten him into the Country' by Thomas Randolph
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1Come, spur away!
2I have no patience for a longer stay;
3But must go down,
4And leave the chargeable noise of this great town.
5I will the country see,
6Where old simplicity,
7Though hid in gray,
8Doth look more gay
9Than foppery in plush and scarlet clad.
10Farewell, you city-wits that are
11Almost at civil war;
12'Tis time that I grow wise, when all the world grows mad.
13More of my days
14I will not spend to gain an idiot's praise;
15Or to make sport
16For some slight puny of the Inns of Court.
17Then, worthy Stafford, say,
18How shall we spend the day?
19With what delights
20Shorten the nights?
21When from this tumult we are got secure,
22Where mirth with all her freedom goes,
23Yet shall no finger lose;
24Where every word is thought, and every thought is pure.
25There from the tree
26We'll cherries pluck; and pick the strawberry;
27And every day
28Go see the wholesome country girls make hay,
29Whose brown hath lovelier grace
30Than any painted face
31That I do know
32Hyde Park can show.
33Where I had rather gain a kiss, than meet
34(Though some of them in greater state
35Might court my love with plate)
36The beauties of the Cheap, and wives of Lombard Street.
37But think upon
38Some other pleasures; these to me are none.
39Why do I prate
40Of women, that are things against my fate?
41I never mean to wed,
42That torture to my bed:
43My Muse is she
44My Love shall be.
45Let clowns get wealth, and heirs; when I am gone,
46And the great bugbear, grisly Death,
47Shall take this idle breath,
48If I a poem leave, that poem is my son.
49Of this, no more;
50We'll rather taste the bright Pomona's store.
51No fruit shall 'scape
52Our palates, from the damson to the grape.
53Then, full, we'll seek a shade,
54And hear what music's made:
56Her tale doth tell;
57And how the other birds do fill the quire;
58The thrush and blackbird lend their throats,
59Warbling melodious notes;
60We will all sports enjoy, which others but desire.
61Ours is the sky,
62Where at what fowl we please our hawk shall fly;
63Nor will we spare
64To hunt the crafty fox, or timorous hare;
65But let our hounds run loose
66In any ground they'll choose;
67The buck shall fall,
68The stag, and all.
69Our pleasures must from their own warrants be,
70For to my Muse, if not to me,
71I'm sure all game is free;
72Heaven, earth, are all but parts of her great royalty.
73And when we mean
74To taste of Bacchus' blessings now and then,
75And drink by stealth
76A cup or two to noble Berkeley's health:
77I'll take my pipe and try
78The Phrygian melody,
79Which he that hears,
80Lets through his ears
81A madness to distemper all the brain.
82Then I another pipe will take
83And Doric music make,
84To civilize with graver notes our wits again.
Editor 1 Interpretation
An Ode to Master Anthony Stafford, to Hasten him into the Country
When it comes to literature, there are few works that manage to capture the essence of a moment or an emotion quite like poetry. The right words and rhythm can transport us to another time and place, evoking feelings of joy, sadness, and everything in between. One such work that has stood the test of time is "An Ode to Master Anthony Stafford, to Hasten him into the Country" by Thomas Randolph. This ode is a perfect example of how a poet can use language to paint vivid pictures in the reader's mind, and in this literary criticism and interpretation, we will explore the themes and techniques used by Randolph to create such a powerful piece of literature.
Before we dive into the poem, it is important to have an understanding of the context in which it was written. Thomas Randolph was a seventeenth-century English poet who lived during a time of great political and social upheaval. His works often reflected the uncertainty of the times and the desire for stability and peace. "An Ode to Master Anthony Stafford, to Hasten him into the Country" was written during this period of unrest, and it reflects the longing for a simpler, more peaceful existence.
The poem opens with an invocation to the "gentle zephyrs," or gentle winds, to carry Master Stafford away from the city and into the countryside. This sets the tone for the rest of the poem, which is filled with images of nature and the countryside. The speaker is urging Stafford to leave the hustle and bustle of city life behind and embrace the beauty and tranquility of rural life.
The first stanza of the poem is filled with images of nature, from the "meadows green" to the "rivers clear." It is clear that the speaker believes that nature is the key to a happy and peaceful life. The use of alliteration in "murmuring meadows" and "clear crystal currents" adds to the musicality of the poem and helps to create a sense of peacefulness.
In the second stanza, the speaker continues to extol the virtues of the countryside, urging Stafford to leave behind the "noisy town" and its "tumultuous sounds." The use of repetition in "leave, oh! leave" emphasizes the urgency of the speaker's message, and the use of the word "fled" creates a sense of movement and action.
The third stanza is perhaps the most powerful in the poem, as the speaker describes the beauty of the countryside in detail. The use of imagery is particularly striking here, with phrases like "the flowery buds do blow" and "the tuneful birds do sing." The speaker is painting a picture of a world that is alive and vibrant, a stark contrast to the dull and lifeless city.
The fourth stanza is a continuation of the third, with the speaker urging Stafford to leave behind the "stinking smoke" and "grime" of the city and embrace the "sweet and wholesome country air." The use of contrast here is particularly effective, with the negative aspects of city life contrasted with the positive aspects of rural life.
In the final stanza, the speaker concludes by urging Stafford to listen to his advice and leave the city behind. The use of the word "heed" emphasizes the importance of the speaker's message, and the repetition of "haste" creates a sense of urgency.
So what is the message of this poem? At its core, "An Ode to Master Anthony Stafford, to Hasten him into the Country" is a call to embrace the simple pleasures of life. The speaker believes that the key to happiness and peace is to leave behind the chaos of city life and embrace the beauty and tranquility of the countryside.
There is also a sense of nostalgia in the poem, as the speaker longs for a simpler time when life was less complicated. This nostalgia is reflected in the use of archaic language like "ye" and "thou," which give the poem a sense of timelessness.
Overall, "An Ode to Master Anthony Stafford, to Hasten him into the Country" is a beautiful and powerful poem that continues to resonate with readers today. Its message of the importance of nature and the beauty of the countryside is one that is still relevant, and its use of language and imagery is a testament to the power of poetry to capture the essence of a moment or an emotion.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
An Ode to Master Anthony Stafford, to Hasten him into the Country is a classic poem written by Thomas Randolph in the 17th century. This poem is a beautiful ode to nature and the countryside, urging Master Stafford to leave the city and embrace the beauty of the natural world. In this article, we will take a closer look at the poem and analyze its themes, structure, and language.
The poem begins with a call to Master Stafford to leave the city and come to the countryside. The speaker urges him to leave behind the noise and chaos of the city and embrace the peace and tranquility of the countryside. The first stanza sets the tone for the rest of the poem, with its beautiful imagery and vivid descriptions of nature:
"Come, spur away, I have no patience for a longer stay, But must go down, And leave the chargeable noise of this great town; I will the country see, Where old simplicity, Though hid in gray, Doth look more gay Than foppery in plush and scarlet clad."
The language used in this stanza is rich and evocative, with words like "chargeable noise," "simplicity," and "foppery" painting a vivid picture of the city and its inhabitants. The contrast between the city and the countryside is stark, with the latter being portrayed as a place of beauty and simplicity.
The second stanza continues this theme, with the speaker urging Master Stafford to leave behind the trappings of wealth and embrace the natural world:
"Hark! hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings, And Phoebus 'gins arise, His steeds to water at those springs On chaliced flowers that lies; And winking Mary-buds begin To ope their golden eyes; With everything that pretty bin, My lady sweet, arise! Arise, arise!"
The language in this stanza is even more beautiful than the first, with its references to the lark, Phoebus, and the Mary-buds. The imagery is stunning, with the flowers and the natural world coming to life in the reader's mind. The speaker is urging Master Stafford to wake up and embrace this beauty, to leave behind the trappings of wealth and embrace the simplicity of nature.
The third stanza takes a more philosophical turn, with the speaker reflecting on the transience of life and the importance of living in the moment:
"Why should we stay? We have no lease of pleasure; Death will soon take The wealthy and the great, And them, like others, empty shadows make."
The language in this stanza is more somber than the previous two, with its references to death and the transience of life. The speaker is urging Master Stafford to embrace the present moment and enjoy the beauty of the natural world before it is too late.
The fourth and final stanza brings the poem to a close, with the speaker urging Master Stafford to embrace the countryside and all its beauty:
"Then since this world's short date Ends with a longer state, If we can crown A vertuous life with an untroubled down, Both here and there We're blest, and have no fear Of ought that fortune can befal, Whose griefs are toys, whose hopes but small."
The language in this stanza is more hopeful than the previous one, with its references to a "vertuous life" and an "untroubled down." The speaker is urging Master Stafford to embrace the countryside and all its beauty, and to live a virtuous life that will bring him happiness both in this world and the next.
In terms of structure, the poem is written in four stanzas of varying lengths. Each stanza has a different tone and theme, with the first two stanzas focusing on the beauty of nature and the contrast between the city and the countryside, while the third and fourth stanzas take a more philosophical turn, reflecting on the transience of life and the importance of living in the moment.
The language used in the poem is rich and evocative, with its references to nature, beauty, and simplicity. The imagery is stunning, with the flowers and the natural world coming to life in the reader's mind. The language is also quite formal, with its use of archaic words and phrases like "Phoebus" and "winking Mary-buds."
In conclusion, An Ode to Master Anthony Stafford, to Hasten him into the Country is a beautiful poem that urges its readers to embrace the beauty of the natural world and live a virtuous life. The language is rich and evocative, with its stunning imagery and formal tone. The poem is structured in four stanzas of varying lengths, each with a different tone and theme. Overall, this poem is a classic ode to nature and the countryside, and a timeless reminder of the importance of living in the moment and embracing the beauty of the natural world.
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