'Prais 'd be Diana's Fair and Harmless Light' by Sir Walter Ralegh
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1Prais'd be Diana's fair and harmless light;
2Prais'd be the dews wherewith she moists the ground;
3Prais'd be her beams, the glory of the night;
4Prais'd be her power by which all powers abound.
5Prais'd be her nymphs with whom she decks the woods,
6Prais'd be her knights in whom true honour lives;
7Prais'd be that force by which she moves the floods;
8Let that Diana shine which all these gives.
9In heaven queen she is among the spheres;
10In aye she mistress-like makes all things pure;
11Eternity in her oft change she bears;
12She beauty is; by her the fair endure.
13Time wears her not: she doth his chariot guide;
14Mortality below her orb is plac'd;
15By her the virtue of the stars down slide;
16In her is virtue's perfect image cast.
17A knowledge pure it is her worth to know:
18With Circes let them dwell that think not so.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Praised be Diana's Fair and Harmless Light
Sir Walter Ralegh is one of the most revered poets of the Elizabethan era, and his poem "Praised be Diana's Fair and Harmless Light" is a testament to his mastery of the craft. This poem is a beautiful tribute to the goddess of the hunt, Diana, and her "fair and harmless light." Through his words, Ralegh captures the essence of nature, the beauty of the moon, and the magic of the night. In this literary criticism, we shall explore the meaning behind Ralegh's poem and analyze the techniques he uses to convey his message.
"Praised be Diana's Fair and Harmless Light" is a sonnet that consists of fourteen lines, and it is written in iambic pentameter. The poem is divided into two quatrains and a sestet. The first quatrain celebrates the beauty of the moon and the goddess of the hunt, while the second quatrain praises the moon's ability to illuminate the night sky. The sestet expresses the speaker's desire to be in the presence of the moon and the goddess of the hunt.
In the first quatrain, Ralegh establishes the theme of the poem by praising Diana's "fair and harmless light." He compares her to the moon, which is also beautiful and pure. The speaker marvels at the moon's splendor in the night sky, and he sees the moon as a symbol of Diana's power and grace. He describes the moon as "heaven's queen" and "empress of the night," emphasizing her importance and majesty.
The second quatrain focuses on the moon's ability to illuminate the night sky. Ralegh uses vivid imagery to describe the moon's light as "a thousand lesser lights" and "a world of wandering knights." He sees the moon as a beacon that guides travelers and illuminates the darkness. The speaker also recognizes the moon's power to control the tides and the cycles of nature.
In the sestet, the speaker expresses his desire to be in the presence of the moon and Diana. He wants to "behold that face" and "embrace that holy light." The speaker sees the moon and the goddess of the hunt as a source of inspiration and spiritual guidance. He longs to be in their presence and to bask in their "holy" light.
"Praised be Diana's Fair and Harmless Light" is a beautiful poem that celebrates nature, beauty, and spirituality. Ralegh uses various literary techniques to convey his message, including imagery, metaphor, and personification.
One of the most striking features of the poem is the use of imagery. Ralegh paints a vivid picture of the moon and the night sky, using words that appeal to the senses. He describes the moon as "heaven's queen" and "silver deity," which creates an image of royalty and divinity. The image of the moon as a "world of wandering knights" is also striking, as it conjures up a sense of adventure and exploration.
Ralegh also uses metaphor to convey his message. He compares Diana to the moon, emphasizing her purity and beauty. He sees the moon as a symbol of Diana's power and grace, which underscores her importance in the natural world. The comparison also suggests that the moon and Diana are both objects of worship, which reflects the spiritual aspect of the poem.
Personification is another technique that Ralegh uses to convey his message. He personifies the moon as a "silver deity" and a "world of wandering knights," which gives the moon a human-like quality. This personification makes the moon seem more tangible and relatable, which enhances the poem's emotional impact.
Overall, "Praised be Diana's Fair and Harmless Light" is a masterful poem that showcases Ralegh's skill as a poet. The themes of nature, beauty, and spirituality are woven together seamlessly, and the use of literary techniques adds depth and richness to the poem.
Sir Walter Ralegh's "Praised be Diana's Fair and Harmless Light" is a beautiful tribute to the moon and the goddess of the hunt. Through his use of imagery, metaphor, and personification, Ralegh captures the magic of the night sky and the spiritual significance of nature. The poem is a testament to Ralegh's skill as a poet, as well as his reverence for the natural world. "Praised be Diana's Fair and Harmless Light" is a timeless classic that continues to inspire and delight readers to this day.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry Prais'd be Diana's Fair and Harmless Light: An Analysis
As a lover of poetry, I am always on the lookout for works that capture the essence of beauty and grace. And when I stumbled upon Sir Walter Ralegh's "Poetry Prais'd be Diana's Fair and Harmless Light," I was immediately captivated by its lyrical beauty and depth of meaning.
Written in the 16th century, this poem is a tribute to the goddess Diana, who was revered in ancient Roman mythology as the goddess of the hunt, the moon, and childbirth. Ralegh's poem is a celebration of her beauty, her power, and her influence on the natural world.
The poem begins with the lines "Prais'd be Diana's fair and harmless light, / Praised be the dews wherewith she moists the ground." These lines set the tone for the rest of the poem, which is a series of praises to the goddess and her various attributes.
One of the most striking things about this poem is its use of imagery. Ralegh paints a vivid picture of the natural world, using words that evoke the beauty and power of the goddess. For example, he describes the "silver-bowed" goddess, referring to her as the "queen of shades," and praises her for her ability to "make the green grass grow."
The poem is also notable for its use of repetition. Throughout the poem, Ralegh repeats the phrase "praised be," emphasizing the importance of the goddess and her influence on the world. This repetition creates a sense of rhythm and musicality, adding to the poem's overall beauty and power.
Another interesting aspect of this poem is its use of symbolism. Diana is often associated with the moon, and Ralegh uses this symbolism to great effect in the poem. He describes the goddess as "the moon in silver chariot shined," and praises her for her ability to "make the earth below / Full of thy silver beams, and make slow / Vassals of us, till, wandering o'er the night, / We feel the morning with our short-lived light."
This symbolism is particularly powerful because it speaks to the idea of the cyclical nature of life. The moon waxes and wanes, just as life ebbs and flows. By associating Diana with the moon, Ralegh is suggesting that she is a symbol of the natural world and its cycles.
Overall, "Poetry Prais'd be Diana's Fair and Harmless Light" is a beautiful and powerful tribute to the goddess Diana. Through its use of imagery, repetition, and symbolism, the poem captures the essence of her beauty, power, and influence on the natural world. It is a testament to the enduring power of poetry to capture the beauty and complexity of the world around us.
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