William Shakespeare: Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind



Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most freindship if feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky,
That does not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As a friend remembered not.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

 

This poem is from Shakespeare’s play As You Like It. This is a son, sung by Amiens. He is a lord, who chose to follow Duke senior, banished by his brother. In this song he comments upon the ways of the world and the human rudeness and ingratitude, which is more biting than the winter wind.

In the beginning of the poem Amiens addresses the winter wind: it can blow as strongly as it wills, but it cannot be as biting as human society.

The second part he partly accuses his friends for forgetting his favors and not being thankful. Wind can freeze him, but it won’t be so painful as the behavior of his friends.

The poet here says that the friendship is only a pretence and loving is nothing but absurdity and foolery. He again tells that life is very wonderful and should be fully enjoyed. It is like a song and should be sung.

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