Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 32. On a Drop of Dew
Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
32. On a Drop of Dew
By Andrew Marvell  (1621–1678)
SEE how the orient dew
      Shed from the bosom of the Morn
    Into the blowing roses,
  Yet careless of its mansion new,
For the clear region where ’twas born,        5
    Round in its self incloses:
  And in its little globe’s extent
Frames, as it can, its native element.
  How it the purple flow’r does slight,
    Scarce touching where it lyes,       10
  But gazing back upon the skies,
    Shines with a mournful light,
        Like its own tear,
Because so long divided from the sphear.
  Restless it roules, and unsecure,       15
    Trembling, lest it grow impure;
  Till the warm sun pitty its pain
And to the skies exhale it back again.
    So the soul, that drop, that ray,
Of the clear fountain of eternal day,       20
(Could it within the humane flow’r be seen)
    Rememb’ring still its former height,
    Shuns the sweat leaves and blossoms green,
    And, recollecting its own light,
Does in its pure and circling thoughts express       25
The greater heaven in an heaven less.
    In how coy a figure wound,
    Every way it turns away;
    (So the world-excluding round)
    Yet receiving in the day.       30
    Dark beneath, but bright above,
    Here disdaining, there in love.
    How loose and easie hence to go;
    How girt and ready to ascend;
    Moving but on a point below,       35
    It all about does upwards bend.
  Such did the manna’s sacred dew destil,
  White and intire, though congeal’d and chill;
  Congeal’d on Earth; but does, dissolving, run
  Into the glories of th’ almighty sun.       40



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