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“Now Winter Nights Enlarge”

I don’t know what it is about this poem that strikes me. Perhaps it’s the subtle use of old words that give it a Shakespearian feel. Perhaps it’s the way the poem makes you feel something without even knowing what you’re feeling. The mystery, or the vagueness of poetry always calls to me. I like reading poetry that doesn’t spell everything out for you. When a poem can make you feel a certain way, even if it’s different than what the author intended, that’s good poetry.

“Now Winter Nights Enlarge”
by: Thomas Campion

Now winter nights enlarge
The number of their hours;
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze
And cups o’erflow with wine,
Let well-turned words amaze
With harmony divine.
Now yellow waxen lights
Shall wait on honey love
While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights
Sleep’s leaden spells remove.

This time doth well dispense
With lovers’ long discourse;
Much speech hath some defense,
Though beauty no remorse.
All do not all things well;
Some measures comely tread,
Some knotted riddles tell,
Some poems smoothly read.
The summer hath his joys,
And winter his delights;
Though love and all his pleasures are but toys,
They shorten tedious nights.


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