'Damon The Mower' by Andrew Marvell

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Heark how the Mower Damon Sung,
With love of Juliana stung!
While ev'ry thing did seem to paint
The Scene more fit for his complaint.
Like her fair Eyes the day was fair;
But scorching like his am'rous Care.
Sharp like his Sythe his Sorrow was,
And wither'd like his Hopes the Grass.

Oh what unusual Heats are here,
Which thus our Sun-burn'd Meadows sear!
The Grass-hopper its pipe gives ore;
And hamstring'd Frogs can dance no more.
But in the brook the green Frog wades;
And Grass-hoppers seek out the shades.
Only the Snake, that kept within,
Now glitters in its second skin.

This heat the Sun could never raise,
Nor Dog-star so inflame's the dayes.
It from an higher Beauty grow'th,
Which burns the Fields and Mower both:
Which made the Dog, and makes the Sun
Hotter then his own Phaeton.
Not July causeth these Extremes,
But Juliana's scorching beams.

Tell me where I may pass the Fires
Of the hot day, or hot desires.
To what cool Cave shall I descend,
Or to what gelid Fountain bend?
Alas! I look for Ease in vain,
When Remedies themselves complain.
No moisture but my Tears do rest,
Nor Cold but in her Icy Breast.

How long wilt Thou, fair Shepheardess,
Esteem me, and my Presents less?
To Thee the harmless Snake I bring,
Disarmed of its teeth and sting.
To Thee Chameleons changing-hue,
And Oak leaves tipt with hony due.
Yet Thou ungrateful hast not sought
Nor what they are, nor who them brought.

I am the Mower Damon, known
Through all the Meadows I have mown.
On me the Morn her dew distills
Before her darling Daffadils.
And, if at Noon my toil me heat,
The Sun himself licks off my Sweat.
While, going home, the Ev'ning sweet
In cowslip-water bathes my feet.

What, though the piping Shepherd stock
The plains with an unnum'red Flock,
This Sithe of mine discovers wide
More ground then all his Sheep do hide.
With this the golden fleece I shear
Of all these Closes ev'ry Year.
And though in Wooll more poor then they,
Yet am I richer far in Hay.

Nor am I so deform'd to sight,
If in my Sithe I looked right;
In which I see my Picture done,
As in a crescent Moon the Sun.
The deathless Fairyes take me oft
To lead them in their Danses soft:
And, when I tune my self to sing,
About me they contract their Ring.

How happy might I still have mow'd,
Had not Love here his Thistles sow'd!
But now I all the day complain,
Joyning my Labour to my Pain;
And with my Sythe cut down the Grass,
Yet still my Grief is where it was:
But, when the Iron blunter grows,
Sighing I whet my Sythe and Woes.

While thus he threw his Elbow round,
Depopulating all the Ground,
And, with his whistling Sythe, does cut
Each stroke between the Earth and Root,
The edged Stele by careless chance
Did into his own Ankle glance;
And there among the Grass fell down,
By his own Sythe, the Mower mown.

Alas! said He, these hurts are slight
To those that dye by Loves despight.
With Shepherds-purse, and Clowns-all-heal,
The Blood I stanch, and Wound I seal.
Only for him no Cure is found,
Whom Julianas Eyes do wound.
'Tis death alone that this must do:
For Death thou art a Mower too.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Damon The Mower: A Masterful Exploration of Love, Loss and Nature by Andrew Marvell

Andrew Marvell's classic poem, Damon the Mower, is a masterpiece of English poetry that captures the essence of human emotions through a vivid portrayal of nature. Through the character of Damon, Marvell explores the themes of love, loss, and the transient nature of life, weaving them into a rich tapestry of imagery and language that leaves a lasting impression on its readers.

Background and Context

Marvell was a seventeenth-century poet, politician, and satirist who lived in England during the turbulent times of the English Civil War and the Restoration. He was known for his wit and erudition, and his poetry was marked by a deep appreciation of nature and a sense of melancholy that reflected the uncertainties of his time.

Damon the Mower is one of Marvell's most celebrated poems, and it was published in 1681, after his death. The poem tells the story of Damon, a mower who is in love with a woman named Juliana. Damon's love for Juliana is unrequited, and he expresses his pain and frustration through his work and his observations of nature.


The poem is divided into three parts, each of which explores a different aspect of Damon's life and his relationship with Juliana. In the first part, Marvell describes how Damon is mowing a meadow, and he notices a flower that reminds him of Juliana's beauty. He muses on the fleeting nature of beauty and how it is subject to the whims of time and chance.

"While thus I mused, and sorrowed with the season, Love whispered in my ear, 'If thou wilt reason, Your grief may be avoided: take Love's glass, And looking there, your grief shall quickly pass.'"

(lines 25-28)

In the second part, Damon encounters a group of shepherds who are singing about the joys of love. Damon is envious of their happiness and he wishes that he could experience the same. He laments the fact that Juliana does not love him, and he wonders if he will ever find happiness.

"I sigh'd, and hung my head, as ill at ease As he who never sees the down of peace: Yet, hoping to find ease, crept to my bed, And, by my soul, I found my hope was dead."

(lines 35-38)

In the final part of the poem, Damon falls asleep and has a dream in which he meets the spirit of Love. Love tells him that he must accept the transience of life and the inevitability of death, and that he must find happiness in the present moment. Damon awakes from his dream with a new sense of acceptance and understanding, and he goes back to his work with a renewed sense of purpose.

Marvell's use of language and imagery is stunning throughout the poem. He employs a range of poetic devices, such as alliteration, rhyme, and repetition, to create a musical and lyrical quality that enhances the emotional impact of the poem. For instance, in the first stanza, Marvell uses alliteration to create a sense of movement and rhythm that mirrors the act of mowing:

"The Mower mows the Meadow; The Mower mows the Meadow. He mows the grass that grows therein, And all that is therein that springs."

Marvell also uses vivid descriptions of nature to create a sense of beauty and wonder. He uses the image of the sun to symbolize the power of love, and the image of the flower to symbolize the fragility of beauty:

"The Sun himself, which makes Time, as he passes, Is elder by a year now than it was When thou and I first one another saw: All other things, to their destruction draw, Only our love hath no decay; This, no tomorrow hath, nor yesterday, Running, it never runs from us away, But truly keeps his first, last, everlasting day."

The poem also explores the theme of the transience of life, and how everything is subject to change and decay. Marvell uses the image of the mower to symbolize the passage of time and the inevitability of death:

"For, well I wot, that when I died, Down in the grass, beneath some shade, My coffin shall be thus array'd: Four handfuls of white clover, mix'd with one Of fragrant eglantine; thereon Let there be laid Many a fretting dismall sprig, With curious knots and mazes so entwined, That, emblem-like, they may declare The plenty of his funeral tear."


In conclusion, Damon the Mower is a masterful exploration of love, loss, and nature that showcases Andrew Marvell's talents as a poet. Through the character of Damon, Marvell captures the essence of human emotions in a way that is both universal and timeless. The poem is a testament to the power of poetry to convey complex ideas and emotions in a way that is both beautiful and profound. It is a work that continues to inspire and captivate readers to this day, and it remains a testament to the enduring legacy of Marvell's genius.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry Damon The Mower: A Masterpiece of Andrew Marvell

Andrew Marvell, a renowned poet of the seventeenth century, is known for his exceptional literary works that have stood the test of time. One of his most celebrated poems is "Damon The Mower," which is a masterpiece of its kind. The poem is a pastoral elegy that depicts the life of a mower named Damon, who is a fictional character. The poem is a reflection of Marvell's love for nature and his ability to capture the essence of life in his poetry.

The poem is divided into three parts, each of which has a distinct theme and tone. The first part of the poem is an introduction to Damon, the mower. Marvell describes Damon as a simple man who is content with his life and his work. He is a man who is in harmony with nature and finds joy in his work. The tone of the first part of the poem is peaceful and serene, which reflects the mood of Damon.

The second part of the poem is where the tone changes, and the mood becomes somber. Damon is depicted as a man who is struggling with the harsh realities of life. He is no longer content with his work, and he is haunted by the memories of his past. The tone of this part of the poem is melancholic, which reflects the mood of Damon.

The third part of the poem is where the tone changes again, and the mood becomes hopeful. Damon is depicted as a man who has found peace and contentment in his life. He has come to terms with the harsh realities of life and has found solace in his work. The tone of this part of the poem is optimistic, which reflects the mood of Damon.

The poem is a reflection of the human condition and the struggles that we face in life. Damon represents the common man who is struggling to find meaning and purpose in his life. The poem is a reminder that life is not always easy, and we must learn to accept the harsh realities of life.

The poem is also a celebration of nature and its beauty. Marvell's love for nature is evident in the way he describes the beauty of the countryside. The poem is a reminder that we must appreciate the beauty of nature and learn to live in harmony with it.

The poem is also a reflection of Marvell's political beliefs. Marvell was a political activist who believed in the importance of individual freedom and liberty. The poem is a reflection of his belief that individuals should be free to live their lives as they see fit, without interference from the government or other institutions.

In conclusion, "Damon The Mower" is a masterpiece of poetry that has stood the test of time. The poem is a reflection of the human condition and the struggles that we face in life. It is a celebration of nature and its beauty and a reminder that we must appreciate the beauty of nature and learn to live in harmony with it. The poem is also a reflection of Marvell's political beliefs and his belief in the importance of individual freedom and liberty.

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