August 1 Aphra Behn: When Maidens Are Young

This one moves a lot like a song. It was written in 1687, so it’s more like a medieval song with a thump a thump, thump a thump and a tra la, la, la.

If you read it out loud, the meter thumps along like a bouncy medieval dance. It’s sweet and unassuming (it doesn’t even have the lewd connotations that the happier medieval songs are famous for – well, damn, that’s no fun!). It reads more like a song and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what it actually turned out to be. I thought I’d include it, because I’d never heard of this poet before and because it is so unique. Well, in comparison to everything else in the textbook.

When Maidens Are Young

by Aphra Behn

When maidens are young, and in their spring,
Of pleasure, of pleasure let ’em take their full swing,
Full swing, full swing,
And love, and dance, and play, and sing,
For Silva, believe it, when youth is done,
There’s nought but hum-drum, hum-drum, hum-drum,
There’s nought but hum-drum, hum-drum, hum-drum.


About penneloppe

I like to write horror, dark fantasy and crime fiction. Sometimes, I'll write science fiction, but usually I like to write science fact. I also write screenplays and stage plays. My day job is office work. I live in Seattle and I have a cat.
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