Here’s an interesting poem by 17th century poet Robert Herrick, in which he dreams he’s a vine – not sure if he means a grape vine – and which probably would bring down the wrath of the moral majority these days. In New Zealand, I imagine the Family First lobby would call for it to be banned.
Herrick, of course, is famous for his carpe diem poem, “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”, beginning, “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may…”
But here’s “The Vine”:
I dreamed this mortal part of mine
Was metamorphosed to a vine,
Which, crawling one and every way,
Enthralled my dainty Lucia.
Methought, her long small legs and thighs
I with my tendrils did surprise:
Her belley, buttocks, and her waist
By my soft nervelets were embraced
About her head I writhing hung
And with rich clusters (hid Amoung
The leaves) her temples i behung,
So that my Lucia seemed to me
Young Bacchus ravished by his tree.
My curls about her neck did crawl,
ANd arms and hands they did enthrall,
So that she could not freely stir
( All parts there made one prisoner).
But when I crept with leaves to hide
Those parts which maids keep unespied,
Such fleeting pleasures there I took
That with the fancy i awoke,
And found (ah me!) this flesh of mine
More like a stock than like a vine.