The Cavalier Poets were seen as followers of Ben Johnson because, in the words of Professor Jennifer Mooney, “they rank with, rhymed with and modeled themselves after Johnson. ” The name “Cavalier” was given to the group as they were a movement who believed in living life to the full. Nina Joined states: “They treat life cavalierly, Indeed, and sometimes they treat poetic convention cavalierly too” They glorified the ordinary rather than great historical or fantastical epics.
However It Is not only this group of poets that Heroic Is connected with, but with the Carper Diem poets such as Andrew Marvel who was the author of the famous “To HIS Coy Mistress” and Christopher Marlowe. This dissertation will look at the texts: “All Things Decay and Die”, “To Live Merrily and To Trust to Good Verses”, “To Daffodils”, “To Bed of Tulips”, “Ocarina’s Gone a Making” and the famous “To the Virgins to Make Much of Time”. Each of these poems are very similar, however there are many differences that render them unique.
This dissertation aims to analyses Heretics’ carper diem poetry by studying the techniques employed by Robert Heroic in his exploration of the concept. One reason why Robert Hayrick’s poetry Is so successful Is because It Is simple. Part f this stoically Is helped by symbolism that Is used to mirror the ideas of mortality and carper idle. These symbols are universally understood and give the poems not only richness but also an element of clarity that Is gracefully treated.
This stoically is brilliantly evident in “To the Virgins, To Make Much of Time”: “Gather Ye rosebuds while ye may Old Time is still a flying But this same flower that smiles today Tomorrow will be Dying. ” This first stanza displays Hayrick’s effective stoically. Sarah Gilead states that the first line is the “distillation of the carper diem message” as it states a mere fact of life: universality that has made Hayrick’s poetry last throughout the ages. He uses parallels that are everlasting. The rosebuds in this stanza symbolize the fruits of life – things we set out to gain in our lives.
The “rosebuds” could be anything – they could be ordinary material objects such as a house, or something more sentimental like love. Heroic advises us though, to get them while we are young, for youth quickly dies. Therefore the rosebuds not only symbolize the objects and aspirations of life, but life its self for we too “tomorrow will be dying”. A similar use of flowers as a humbly of the briefness of life is evident in “To Blossoms”: “Fair pledges of a fruitful tree, Why do ye fall so fast? ” Blossom is, of course, the blooming of flowers.
However, despite their obvious beauty, they quickly wither and die. In this poem Heroic looks upon the dying blossoms of a tree. Through this Heroic sees that these blossoms show how it is the nature of all things to pass away. This is evident as Heroic describes how in its leaves one can read “how soon things can end”, and by saying: “Like you awhile, they glide Into the grave. ” Thus, Heroic is comparing the lives of blossom, to the lives of humans to find that hey are both the same: they are both mortal and must die.
By choosing something like Blossom that passes away so quickly, Heroic exaggerates the shortness of the human life span but in doing so reveals that we too life for only a brief time. This idea is also shown in “All Things Decay and Die”, which concerns itself not with flowers, but rather with the mighty trees of the forest. Again Heroic shows how no one is invincible by showing that even the mightiest of trees has to “decay and die”. Nothing withstands time but time itself. Heroic portrays this theme by using the idea f trees.
Trees, unlike blossoms, live for hundreds of years. Yet they are not immortal and must therefore die. Heroic displays this by writing: “The sovereign of all plants, the oak Droops, dies and falls without the cleavers stroke. ” What is interesting is the use of the word “sovereign” as it’s connotations to royalty and King. This concept of power and nobility is repeated earlier in the poem when the oak is described as “the proud dictator of a state like wood”, which once more implies strength, power and authority. So why does Heroic use such words to describe a tree?
The answer is because he wanted to show that the mighty fall as that through the use of vegetation Heroic has created a simple, yet effective parallel of human life that explains Just how short our lives are and illustrates why exactly we should “seize the day”. Hayrick’s poetry, though, has other ideas which illuminate the theme of carper diem. The flowers in “To the Virgins” and “To a Bed of Tulips” not only symbolize life, but are used to represent virgin women. These two poems urge the virgins “Be not coy, but use your time And while ye may go marry: For having lost but once your prime You may forever tarry. Robert Heroic strikes a note here as it is human nature to put things off and to say “There’s always tomorrow”, but if we “forever tarry” then we shall never do what we planned – time will catch up on us. In other words: seize the day! “To a Bed of Tulips” has an almost identical last stanza as again Heroic repeats his message to those unmarried maidens by saying – “Come virgins, then and see Your frailties, and bemoan ye For, lost like these, twill be As time has never known ye” Once more Robert Heroic is drawing a parallel between his two subjects as he amperes these virgins with the Tulips.
In this final stanza he describes the virgins as frail and insignificant in the world. This mirrors the rest of the poem as the tulips “quickly wither” and that they, like the virgins, will die “even as the meanest flower. ” However, these stanzas’ show another side of Heroic which, four hundred years after these poems were written, is not quite as popular. To the modern reader, who may regard these stanzas as sexist, might find these final verses as an anti climax.
After three beautifully lyrical verses of flowers and rising suns, a final stanza describing arraign as a woman’s greatest ambition is not going to appeal to the career woman of the 21st century. So why, then, are these poems still popular in our modern times? The answer is quite simply that the earlier verses with their simple imagery and the parallels of the sun and flowers make up for a somewhat dated ideology. Flowers though are not the only use of symbolism in Hayrick’s writings. The sun and example in “To the Virgins” the second stanza begins: “As yet the early-rising sun Has not attained his noon. This shows how the suns rising and setting are used to symbolize the cycle of life. Perhaps not an uncommon thing in literature or religion, but effective as it not only parallels life and death but it also holds links to the idea of heaven and eternal life – an ironic feature in poems about mortality. The connection with heaven is evident in “To the Virgins” when in verse two Heroic states: “The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun The higher he’s a getting The sooner will his race be run And nearer he is to setting. What Heroic is saying here is that time is wearing on and that life is drawing to a close for the sun is almost setting on a day and on a life. However it is the first line in this stanza – “The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun” – that is the most effective. It has connotations with God, the land of eternal youth and happiness – the immortality that does not exist in our physical world. The word “glorious” makes the sun seem dazzling, brilliant, and because “glory” is also a biblical term, it echoes this link with God and heaven. Lamp” though is a curious term to be used to describe something of such importance and beauty. Yet it works, for the sun is the light of Heaven, which all people hope to be our final destination and homeland. Roger B Rolling says in his study of Heretics’ poetry that the rules of the atmosphere mirror the rules of all life – whether it be animal or plant, and that we are fated to die before we come to our prime. This argument is extremely accurate as the sun’s daily routine of rising and setting is a mirror of human life that begins in child hood and ends in a withering old age.
As Heroic has used symbolism and imagery expertly in his work he has created many beautiful poems which, despite outdated views on the role of women in society, remain favorite verses in this modern world of equal opportunity. Another reason though, why Hayrick’s poems are still popular today is his cultural experimentation: namely the influence of Greek and classical mythology in his writings. Greek mythology, which appears frequently in Hayrick’s writings, has greatly influenced his poetry. H. R. Grandson says: “all the girls are Anthems and Julius and Ocarinas and even the ‘sea-scourged merchant’ is going to Ithaca. In fact such is this However as Robert H Deeding states: “It is a humanistic fusion which is neither exclusively Christian nor classical-pagan, but rather an imaginative blend. ” This “imaginative blend” creates what Deeding describes as “ceremonial universality” – meaning that the poem can appeal ceremonially to all faiths and generations. This is most clearly seen in “Ocarina’s Going A Making” where classical myths are used in harmony with more Christian ideas and rituals to describe the idyllic English countryside in spring.
For example, in the first stanza Heroic describes the birds as singing “hymns” and it being a “sin” to still be inside at Dawn. However, whilst these two references are plainly Christian the description of the “Titan” on the eastern hill is distinctly classical. The celebration of May is also heaped in lore as its many myths show that it is a pagan festival about fertility when sexual relations, which were generally not accepted in Hayrick’s day, were tolerated. May Day is used in “Ocarina’s Gone A Making” as a celebration of youth. This is effective as May Day is the gathering of spring and spring is youth.
This is evident in the poem as Heroic writes: “There’s not a budding boy or girl this day But is got up and gone to bring in May; A deal of youth, ere this, is come” This describes the festive spirit of the occasion: a mood that is portrayed so often in Hayrick’s writings. By depicting the boys and girl’s as “budding” he reflects the setting of the warm spring day and the flowers opening in the sun of May. Heroic also shows that it is a celebration of youth by saying it is the boys and girls getting up and describing the youth as coming to bring in May.
However the moral holiday is evident later in the poem when Heroic says: “Many a kiss, both odd and even; Many a glance, too, has been sent From out the eye, love’s firmament” This part of the poem exhibits the social looseness of May Day as Heroic illustrates the flirtatious nature of the day by describing how the kisses are both “odd and even” which gives the impression that many advances have been made that day. Also, by writing how love has been sealed by looks from “out the eye” Heroic shows the festivity and the sexual nature of the day.
Grandson suggests though, that Heroic is only able to create this relaxed atmosphere in a strict society because “… The classical provide, in the modern phrase, a ‘moral holiday'” . In other words, because Heroic uses both strict Christian doctrines and the more liberal atmosphere of pagan May Day and classical ideas he is able to write a poem using looser morals than would normally be allowable. This ‘moral holiday’ that Grandson describes is essential in Carper Diem poetry for Christian guidelines generally promoted patience, simplicity and in some factions it discouraged the art of merry making.
Heroic though, uses the looser principles of Paganism along in harmony with Christianity to create a legitimate, but festive setting. The festive setting is fundamental in Heretics’ poetry as he uses it to mirror the idea of living life to the full and seizing the day. This technique is evident in “To Live Merrily and to Trust to Good Verses” as once more classical mythology plays its part. This poem is about the ‘ceremony of mirth’ and uses mythology to create as in “Ocarina’s Gone a Making”, a loose and festive setting in which to portray the theme of seizing the day. To Live Merrily and to Trust to Good Verses” follows typical Heroic structure in its simplicity and lyrical style. Each verse toasts a classical writer like Homer. However the poem starts by describing the flowering earth. “Now is the time for mirth, Nor cheek or tongue be dumb; For with the flowery earth The golden pomp is come. ” Grandson says in his article “Heroic and the Ceremony of Mirth” that the festivity of he moment is associated with the flowering of the earth (spring). This is evidently very similar to Ocarina’s Gone A Making which also uses the gaiety of May Day as a platform for the theme of seizing the day.
The theme of this poem is slightly different than others though as Heroic recognizes that there is an element of immortality in writing – after all Homer and Ovid were all writers many centuries before and yet they were alive in Hayrick’s day , and are still alive in ours through their art. Grandson describes this by saying: “Death is conquered not by renouncing the ‘frail world’ whose beauty dies, in favor f an everlasting other world, but by realizing most successfully the beauty and mirth in the natural world. Thus you do not abjure verses but ‘trust to good verses’. Grandson explains how by recognizing the magnificence of this temporary world, rather than be loyal to that of the next you can become immortal. This is evident in his poetry as it consistently conveys the beauty of the world. Therefore Heroic sees his poetry as normalizing himself. The poem “His Poetry His Pillar” displays this theory as it describes how Heroic fears ensuing death and hopes that his poetry charity of writers in this movement wrote poems that seemed “as fleeting as life and youth themselves” in the hope of convincing their lover to cast caution to the wind.
The Consenters though, wrote poetry for a reason similar to Heroic – in the hope that they and their loves could become immortal. Part of “To Live Merrily and to Trust to Good Verses” festivity though, is due to its structure. The majority of Hayrick’s poetry uses a simple ABA rhyme scheme, and “To Live Merrily” is no exception. Although the poem is longer than the majority of Hayrick’s poetry (which is usually no more than four verses long) is simple rhyme chem. and flowing verse help to mirror the party atmosphere in which the poem is set.
The majority of Hayrick’s poetry is lyrical – short and kinglike. Most of his poems are no more than four verses and use only six to seven syllables per line. This factor, and the simple rhyme scheme create a quick and fast flowing lyrical verse. This is apparent in the poem “Too Bed of Tulips”. “Bright Tulips, we do know You had you’re coming hither And fading time does know That ye must quickly wither. ” This technique results in a poem that is short and to the point (another similarity teens Heroic and his fellow Cavaliers).
This simple, song-like rhythm and rhyme scheme are very effective as they help to create that Joyful party atmosphere that is so well portrayed in “To Live Merrily” and to Trust to Good Verses”. However another interpretation sometimes offered is that this flowing rhythm mirrors the reality of mortality. Critic Gordon Braded describes Hayrick’s lyrical style as almost childlike for he says in his book “The Classics and English Renaissance Poetry” that Hayrick’s poetry is like: “That of childlike discovery and amazement, a short but bright faculty of attention intentionally distracted by something new. This is evident as in “To the Virgins” each parallel – the sun, flowers, the description of youth – are all dealt with quickly before Heroic begins his new channel of thought. The idea of Heretics’ poetry as being child-like in aspects is also evident in his subject matter as although his theme is serious, his glorification of the sun and of the festive party atmosphere creates something more playful and fun. Yet not all Hayrick’s lyrical poems comply with the same structure. “To Blossoms” and “To Daffodils” are both slightly more erratic and complex in rhythm and rhyme.
To Blossoms” consists of one stanza of eighteen lines, its rhyme scheme is In “To “soon” and “noon” and “spring” and “thing. ” The number of syllables in these two poems is also not consistent. In “To Blossoms” lines range from having four to eight syllables and in “To Daffodils” there is from two to seven. These poems, you assume on first glance, would have a more rambling rhythm rather than flowing style of the majority of Hayrick’s other poems, and yet when read the poems retain Hayrick’s musical sound. This is maintained simply by the combination of both styles.
For example at the start of “To Daffodils” we have his more regular sound: “Fair Daffodils, we weep to see You haste away so soon As yet the early rising sun Has not attained his noon. ” This first part of the poem uses the iambic foot. What this means is that the stresses fall on every second syllable and therefore when reading the poem the stresses always fall on the last word at each line creating a sing song effect that suits Hayrick’s lyrical style. However in the second part of the poem: instead of using his regular structure he uses a cross between long and short lines using enjambment.
For example lines five o seven use a pattern of one six syllable line sandwiched between two, two syllable lines. This part of the poem is particularly effective as by putting “Stay, stay” twice on the one line the speaker sounds more urgently pleading as thought the daffodils would wither away before his eyes unless he begged them not to. This structure of the two part stanza is repeated in the second verse as once more it begins with Hayrick’s usual lyrical form, before changing in the latter halloo a more irregular one. This second half of the stanza uses enjambment to put an emphasis on certain words. We die As your hours do, and dry Away” The way the words “We die” are placed on their own line reminds the reader that we share the same fate as the daffodils. The effect is mirrored with the word “away” and by putting this emphasis on these words it creates a more drumming rhythm. The manner in which the word “Away” is put onto a line of its own suggests the hollow finality of death. Contrast between long and short lines ranging from eight syllables to four. The rhyme scheme is also slightly more complex with an ABBACY structure. These factors help to produce a slightly more interesting rhythm as it speeds up and slows down.
For example in Stanza 1: Fair pledges of a fruitful tree Why do ye fall so fast? Your date is not so past” The longer line followed by the two shorter lines creates a fast first two lines, but when typical Heroic structure dictates that line two should be followed by a another line of eight syllables and it does not then it creates a slower rhythm which makes line three stand out. This is evident to a greater extent of the last lines of each stanza, which are also the shortest at only four syllables. The lines “And go at last” and “Into the grave” are the most noticeable of these.
The words “Into the grave” end the poem on a chilling note. The fact that the poem is fairly fast paced up until that point means that the words are given a particular stress and reveal a particularly sudden and abrupt end – the very nature of life. Heroic reflects the relative simplicity of his narrative with an exceedingly uncomplicated structure, both with rhyme and rhythm. Even his more complicated verses still hold the musical quality that his simpler poems contain. This is one of Heretics’ merits as an over adorned structure would clash with the content and would ruin his poetry.
On the other hand, when he ventures slightly outwit his simplistic sphere he creates very effective structures that help to emphasis the theme as can be seen in “To Daffodils” and “To Blossoms”. In conclusion it is evident that Heroic uses structure, symbolism and an interesting blend of religious ceremonies in his exploration of the theme Carper Diem. Through the simplicity in the rhythm and rhyme of his poems, Heroic has invoked the fleeting quality of life and the beauty of the world we live in. These two ideas are portrayed in the content of these poems through the use of symbolism and imagery.
Yet the reason why Heroic, despite having somewhat dated opinions on the role of women, is still a poet of our time is because of his simplicity and “ceremonial universality”. To describe his poetry one would have to say “simple but beautiful”, for throughout his writings Heroic pays homage to the flowering of the earth and uses it to show how brief and temporary our presence is a parallel that all can understand. Hayrick’s blend of different cultures and religions in his writing has also helped to immortality him as it gave his poetry an acceptable but care free moral tone that remains elevate and enjoyable today.