'Phillis II' by Thomas Lodge

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Love guards the roses of thy lips
And flies about them like a bee;
If I approach he forward skips,
And if I kiss he stingeth me.

Love in thine eyes doth build his bower,
And sleeps within their pretty shine;
And if I look the boy will lower,
And from their orbs shoot shafts divine.

Love works thy heart within his fire,
And in my tears doth firm the same;
And if I tempt it will retire,
And of my plaints doth make a game.

Love, let me cull her choicest flowers;
And pity me, and calm her eye;
Make soft her heart, dissolve her lowers
Then will I praise thy deity.

But if thou do not, Love, I'll truly serve her
In spite of thee, and by firm faith deserve her.

Editor 1 Interpretation

The Wonders of Phillis II: A Literary Criticism of Thomas Lodge's Poem

Phillis II is a poem written by Thomas Lodge, a 16th-century English writer, physician, and playwright. The poem tells the story of a shepherd named Corydon who falls in love with a shepherdess named Phillis. It is a classic pastoral poem that explores the themes of love, nature, and the rural lifestyle. In this literary criticism, we will delve into the wonders of Phillis II and interpret its meaning and significance.

The Beauty of Nature

One of the central themes of Phillis II is the beauty of nature. Lodge paints a vivid picture of the pastoral landscape, with its rolling hills, babbling brooks, and lush greenery. He describes the beauty of the flowers and the song of the birds. The poem is full of pastoral imagery that transports the reader to a simpler time, before the hustle and bustle of modern life.

"Behold the fields that glister with the sun,
The birds that chant melodious harmony,
The pretty flowers that paint the meadows fine,
The fragrant winds that breathe out sweet perfume."

It is clear that Lodge has a deep appreciation for nature and believes that it has the power to heal and inspire us. In this way, the poem can be seen as a celebration of the natural world and a call to preserve it.

The Power of Love

Another important theme of Phillis II is the power of love. The poem tells the story of Corydon, a shepherd who falls in love with Phillis, a shepherdess. Despite their humble beginnings, their love is powerful and all-consuming. Corydon is willing to do anything to win Phillis's heart, even if it means competing with other suitors.

"With Laurel boughs she crowned her flaxen hair,
And twined the same about her ivory neck,
And then she tripped it on the velvet green,
Whilst all the swains with wonder on her gazed."

Lodge portrays love as a force that can conquer all obstacles and bring happiness and fulfillment to our lives. The poem is a testament to the enduring power of love and its ability to inspire us to new heights.

The Contrast of City and Country Life

Phillis II also explores the contrast between city and country life. Lodge portrays the rural lifestyle as idyllic, with its simple joys and close-knit community. In contrast, he describes the city as a place of corruption and materialism, where people are motivated by greed and ambition.

"The city's but a place of vanity,
Where wealth doth blind the eyes of foolish men;
Wherein the more we have, the more we crave,
And yet, alas, the less we do enjoy."

The poem can be seen as a critique of urbanization and industrialization, and a call to return to a simpler way of life. It suggests that by reconnecting with nature and embracing our basic human needs, we can find true happiness and fulfillment.

The Poetic Language

One of the most striking aspects of Phillis II is its poetic language. Lodge uses a range of literary devices to create a vivid and engaging poem. He employs alliteration, assonance, and onomatopoeia to create a musical rhythm that enhances the poem's pastoral imagery. He also uses metaphors and similes to compare nature to human emotions and experiences.

"The birds that chant melodious harmony"

"The pretty flowers that paint the meadows fine"

"The fragrant winds that breathe out sweet perfume"

The language of the poem is both beautiful and accessible, making it an excellent example of English Renaissance poetry.

The Significance of Phillis II

In conclusion, Phillis II is a remarkable poem that explores the themes of love, nature, and the rural lifestyle. Lodge's vivid imagery and poetic language create a pastoral world that is both idyllic and realistic. The poem can be seen as a celebration of the natural world and a call to preserve it, as well as a critique of urbanization and industrialization. It also explores the power of love and its ability to inspire us to new heights. Overall, Phillis II is a testament to the enduring power of poetry and its ability to capture the beauty and complexity of the human experience.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Phillis II: A Masterpiece of Love and Longing

Thomas Lodge, the renowned Elizabethan poet, wrote many beautiful poems that have stood the test of time. Among his most famous works is the classic poem, Phillis II. This poem is a masterpiece of love and longing, and it has captured the hearts of readers for centuries.

Phillis II is a sonnet, a form of poetry that originated in Italy and became popular in England during the Renaissance. It consists of fourteen lines, with a specific rhyme scheme and a specific meter. The rhyme scheme of a sonnet is usually ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, and the meter is usually iambic pentameter, which means that each line has ten syllables and a pattern of unstressed and stressed syllables.

In Phillis II, Lodge uses the sonnet form to express his feelings of love and longing for a woman named Phillis. The poem is addressed to Phillis, and it begins with a declaration of love:

"Phillis, I faine would sing, but cannot sing, My Muse is idle, and my voice is hoarse; My tongue doth falter, and my pen doth force My feeble hand to write a feeble thing."

Lodge's use of language in this opening stanza is both beautiful and poignant. He admits that he is struggling to express his feelings, but he still manages to convey his love for Phillis in a powerful and moving way.

The second stanza of the poem continues in the same vein, with Lodge expressing his frustration at his inability to express his love adequately:

"Yet must I sing, though I can never sing, And tell the world how dear thou art to me; How sweet thy voice, how fair thy face I see, How kind thy heart, how true thy love doth cling."

Here, Lodge uses repetition to emphasize his point. He repeats the phrase "how" several times, each time describing a different aspect of Phillis that he loves. This repetition creates a sense of urgency and intensity, as if Lodge is desperate to convey his feelings to Phillis.

The third stanza of the poem takes a slightly different turn. Lodge begins to describe the physical beauty of Phillis, using vivid and sensual language:

"Thy golden locks, thy forehead smooth and high, Thy rosy cheeks, thy lips of coral hue, Thy snowy neck, thy breasts of ivory, Thy slender waist, thy limbs of graceful view."

Here, Lodge's language becomes more descriptive and sensual. He uses imagery to paint a picture of Phillis, emphasizing her physical beauty and creating a sense of desire and longing.

The fourth and final stanza of the poem brings everything together. Lodge concludes by expressing his love for Phillis and his desire to be with her:

"O happy he that may thy love obtain, And happy thou, that canst his love requite; But woe to me, that am of love so vain, That neither can thy love, nor mine, unite."

In this final stanza, Lodge uses contrast to create a sense of sadness and longing. He contrasts the happiness of those who are in love with the sadness of those who are not, emphasizing his own feelings of loneliness and despair.

Overall, Phillis II is a masterpiece of love and longing. Lodge's use of language and imagery is both beautiful and powerful, and his ability to convey his feelings of love and desire is truly remarkable. This poem has stood the test of time, and it continues to capture the hearts of readers today.

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