A Maypole

Deprived of root, and branch and rind,
Yet flowers I bear of every kind:
And such is my prolific power,
They bloom in less than half an hour;
Yet standers-by may plainly see
They get no nourishment from me.
My head with giddiness goes round,
And yet I firmly stand my ground:
All over naked I am seen,
And painted like an Indian queen.
No couple-beggar in the land
E'er joined such numbers hand in hand.
I joined them fairly with a ring;
Nor can our parson blame the thing.
And though no marriage words are spoke,
They part not till the ring is broke;
Yet hypocrite fanatics cry,
I'm but an idol raised on high;
And once a weaver in our town,
A damned Cromwellian, knocked me down.
I lay a prisoner twenty years,
And then the jovial cavaliers
To their old post restored all three -
I mean the church, the king, and me.

by Jonathan Swift

Comments (16)

I lay a prisoner twenty years, And then the jovial cavaliers To their old post restored all three - I mean the church, the king, and me.
I lay a prisoner twenty years, And then the jovial cavaliers To their old post restored all three - I mean the church, the king, and me.
My first time reading this one, though the feel, the subject matter strike me as Swift-ian. Contemporary in its own time, the poem remains so with a bit of application—the clash, as some would have it, of pagan practices with a newer orthodoxy. -Glen
such is my prolific power, ........... greatly penned by Swift
With prolific power every kind of flower all bear in life to accept purity and softness. This poem is definitely very excellently penned and has broad and amazing essence...10
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