Poem introduction

This poem was recorded by the Archive as part of the Writing Places project. Writing Places is a pilot project funded by the Arts Council and designed to celebrate literature and its place in our history by placing Writers-In-Residence at four National Trust properties in the South West of England. The literary and heritage project aims to broaden audiences for literature events and to encourage public engagement with creative reading and writing as well as bringing these inspirational National Trust places to a wider audience. The Poetry Archive is proud to be working alongside Literature Works and The National Trust to bring you these recordings.

The Mower to the Glow-worms

Ye living lamps, by whose dear light
The nightingale does sit so late,
And studying all the summer night,
Her matchless songs does meditate;
 
Ye country comets, that portend
No war nor prince’s funeral,
Shining unto no higher end
Than to presage the grass’s fall;

Ye glow-worms, whose officious flame
To wand’ring mowers shows the way,
That in the night have lost their aim,
And after foolish fires do stray;

Your courteous lights in vain you waste,
Since Juliana here is come,
For she my mind hath so displac’d
That I shall never find my home.

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Recordings