Slow, slow, fresh fount, keep time with my salt tears
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Ben Johnson’s poem slow, slow, fresh fount shows a persona who ha fallen in love with a girl that he even cries for her to accept him as seen in the first line ‘keep time with my salt tears’. He uses metaphor to refer the flow of tears as a spring as can be seen in line two that ‘yet slowly, yet o faintly gentle springs’. He actually calls flow of tear spring meaning the flow was steady and consistent.
In the first line there is alliteration in the words ‘fresh fount’. This basically adds to the musicality of the poem making it more interesting and appealing to the ears. The persona says that when the girl sings, she doesn’t consider his request. This can be seen in the fourth line ‘woe weeps out her division when she sings’. Meaning, when she speaks, she is against his idea of having her and it hurts him because he says ‘droop herbs and flowers fall grief in showers’. This lines show how the persona’s ego is crushed when he faces the rejection. This is brought out clearly using an extended metaphor in the above lines.
Paradox of the line ‘our beauties are not ours’ which are words from the person show how disillusioned he has become about life. Using the simile of likening himself to a melting snow in the third last line ‘like melting snow upon some craggy hill’ further illustrates how he has lost hope in life and particularly love life. He refers to the lady as nature’s pride that has now withered. This can be seen in the last line of the poem. The withering brings out the feeling that the person has given up on the girl because he can never get her. This is metaphorical.
The poet has also employed middle and end rhymes in the poem to add to the musicality of the poem. For example the words tears and bears, springs and sings, flowers and showers, hill and daffodil form a rhyme scheme. This pattern brings out the musicality in the poem making it very interesting to read and listen to it. The middle rhymes include words like fount and yet.
Repetition has also been used by the poet. For example the words ‘slow’ and ‘drop’ have been repeated mainly to put emphasize on how the persona was feeling at that moment. Personification has also been used. He has given human attributes to springs like they have feelings. Flowers and herbs have also been given the capability to experience grief.