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A contemplation upon Flowers

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A Contemplation Upon Flowers

Brave flowers that I could gallant it like you,
And be as little vain!
You come abroad, and make a harmless show,
And to your beds of earth again.
You are not proud: you know your birth:
For your embroider'd garments are from earth.

You do obey your months and times, but I
Would have it ever Spring:
My fate would know no Winter, never die,
Nor think of such a thing.
O that I could my bed of earth but view
And smile, and look as cheerfully as you!

O teach me to see Death and not to fear,
But rather to take truce!
How often have I seen you at a bier,
And there look fresh and spruce!
You fragrant flowers! then teach me, that my breath
Like yours may sweeten and perfume my death. 

THE POET:
Henry King, English bishop and poet, baptized in January 1591. Henry King died at Christopher on the 30th of September 1669. His works include poems, Elegies, Paradoxes and sonnets (1657). This poem is an example of an ode, a formal way to address someone or something, it is a tribute. The poem is basically about a man wanting to accept death as it is. He watches the flowers accept death as nature. He then learns that the flowers are brave as they go back to the earth. He puts the flowers situation in his and which that they could teach him not to fear death and to be as brave when its time.  As a human, I fear death and the consequences of it. It always seems hard to accept that life must come to an end, and that one day we all must die. In this poem by Henry King he makes a connection to flowers, which are very much like us in the way that they bloom, grow, and they must die. Just as humans a flowers life is filled with beauty and work to please others, so in reality the life of a human is no different to the life of a flower. This poem has helped me understand that life is but a cycle, that everything must come to an end. So why fear death when it is just another step on our cycle called “life”.

LITERAL MEANING
The name was given to the poem because the poet shows that the speaker is studying the poem. This poem "A contemplation upon flowers by Henry King" is about a man who wants the flowers to teach him to become humble. The comparison of the life of a simple flower is made to the life of a human, in the sense that we both are born, we both live, and we both must die. Majority of people fear death, but the flowers accept death with open arms and a smile. This poem by Henry King praises flowers for not only their humble lifestyles but also for their acceptance of death. 

Instead, the flowers taught him three lessons. 

Stanza one centers on the characteristics of flowers.  They are gallant, humble, etc., and they return to the earth (figuratively, they die every winter--but this isn't revealed until later) after putting on a show. His first lesson that he learnt was to become brave and to remember the place where the flower came from, as referred to line 1, 5-6 " Brave flowers that I could gallant it like you "The persona wishes that he could be as brave as the flowers, who are aware of their allegiance to the earth. "You are not proud you know your birth for your embroidered garments are from earth." They know their place and obey the order, or cycle, of life and death. The persona wishes that he could be this way because he is the opposite, he wants to live forever. The persona wants the flowers to teach him NOT to fear death, but to accept it. Line 1 can also be identified as a literary device known as personification because brave flowers cannot gallant which only living things such as animals or humans can do. Also in line 5 and 6 can be identified as Biblical allusion another literary device because the bible in the books of John and Mathew Jesus talked about the lilies in the field where they are created and their birth place. 

Stanza two switches focus to the speaker:  he would rather it be... Show More

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