Verse written on her Death Bed

Here is the work we have done in Literature class. I worked with Tota Lupi.

Overview

This is a beautiful and moving poem filled with the romance of a woman who feels she has truly found her soul mate.

Read the poem

Thou who dost all my worldly thoughts employ,
Thou pleasing source of all my earthly joy,
Thou tenderest husband and thou dearest friend,
To thee this first, this last adieu I send!
At length the conqueror death asserts his right,
And will for ever veil me from thy sight;
He wooes me to him with a cheerful grace,
And not one terror clouds his meagre face;
He promises a lasting rest from pain,
And shews that all life’s fleeting joys are vain;
Th’ eternal scenes of heaven he sets in view,
And tells me that no other joys are true.
But love, fond love, would yet resist his power,
Would fain awhile defer the parting hour;
He brings thy mourning image to my eyes,
And would obstruct my journey to the skies.
But say, thou dearest, thou unwearied friend!
Say, should’st thou grieve to see my sorrows end?
Thou know’st a painful pilgrimage I’ve past;
And should’st thou grieve that rest is come at last?
Rather rejoice to see me shake off life,
And die as I have liv’d, thy faithful wife.

Mary Monck (?-1715)

Work in pairs and include:

-data about the writer and context of production

-whether this poem is based on her  life or not

-themes and tones

-literary devices used by the poet to put across her message

-personal conclusion on the poem 

Monck, Mary, a woman of great beauty and considerable poetical abilities, daughter of Lord Molesworth, was born in the latter half of the 17th century. She acquired an intimate knowledge of Latin, Italian, and Spanish literature. Chiefly residing in the country, one of a numerous family, she cultivated poetry more as an amusement than with a view to publication. She married George Monck of Dublin. After her early death from consumption, at Bath, in 1715, a volume of her poems and translations was published. Several of her pieces are given in Cibber’s Lives of the Poets. 

The poem was written in 1715 in the end of enlightenment and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The poem is based on her life. She writes it in her death bed, as a farewell to her husband in 1715. However the poem was not published in that year, only after her death was any of her poetry published. The themes are companionship and friendship, rather than lust and passion since the poem is about true love. Also we see the impact of aging and mortality. The tone is generally soothing and gentle, with occasional emotional outbursts.

As for literary devices, the repetition of ‘all’ emphasises the fact that the husband is the only person in her life. We have an analogy presenting her struggle with illness as a war with death personified as a ‘conqueror’. She contrasts the ‘fleeting joys’ of life with the ‘eternal scenes of heaven’ in an attempt to convince herself and her husband that death should hold no fear and thus be welcomed.

Mary writes this poem to show all the love she felt for her husband, her best friend and companion. The poem is a farewell to the love of her life. She is writting this poem in sadness about leaving and being mortal, but at the same time the poem is a way to demonstrate to her husband how she loved him.

Virtual Period

-choose a song that deals with the same topic, find a video and analyse it.

-Post it in your blog

Video: Goodbye my lover by James Blunt

We chose this song because we realised that both the song and poem are about a farewell to a lower, friend, etc. James Blunt says goodbye through a singed poem to his former lover, where as Mary Monck leaves written words to her husband to say her goodbyes.

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