by Robert Herrick
Fair Daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain’d his noon.
Until the hasting day
But to the even-song;
And, having pray’d together, we
Will go with you along.
We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or anything.
As your hours do, and dry
Like to the summer’s rain;
Or as the pearls of morning’s dew,
Ne’er to be found again.
In his poem ‘To Daffodils’, the poet Robert Herrick begins by saying that we grieve to see the beautiful daffodils being wasted away very quickly. The duration of their gloom is so short that it seems even the rising sun still hasn’t reached the noon-time. Thus, in the very beginning he has struck a note of mourning at the fast dying of daffodils. The poet then addresses the daffodils and asks them to stay until the clay ends with the evening prayer. After praying together he says that they will also accompany the daffodils. This is so because like flowers, men too have a very transient life and even the youth is also very short-lived.
“We have short time to stay, as you, we have as short a spring.” Robert Herrick symbolically refers to the youth as spring in these lines. He equates/compares human life with the life of daffodils. Further he says that both of them grow very fast to be destroyed later. Just like the short duration of the flowers, men too die away soon. Their life is as short as the rain of the summer season, which comes for a very short time; and the dew-drops in the morning, which vanish away and never return again. Thus, the poet after comparing the flowers to humans, later turns to the objects of nature – he has compared the life of daffodils with summer rain, dew drops.
- the short-lived nature of life, the fleeting passage of time.
- like the flowers we humans have a very short life in this world.
- beauty is not going to stay forever.
Life is short, and world is beautiful, love is splendid and we must use the short time we live to make the most of it. This is shown in the words “haste”, “run”, “short” and “quick”.