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Robert Harrick As a Cavalier Poet

‘Delight in Disorder’ is an exquisite poem of English literature by the Cavalier poet Robert Herrick (1591-1674). The poem attracts the heart of every reader by its lyrical quality and harmonious end rhyme. In the poem the poet expresses his feelings of extreme happiness derived from the disordered dress of a woman.

Let us now discuss the ‘Cavalier Poet’. Actually the world “Cavalier’ derived from ‘Carolus’ the Latin version of Charles. The reign of Charles (1625-1649) was the time of ‘English Civil War’. Fought between the supporters of king known a ‘Cavaliers’ and the supporters of the parliament known as “Round head”. However, a group of lyric poets who ware associated with the ‘Cavaliers’ are called the Cavalier poets, for example, Robert Herrick, Richard Lovelace, sir Johan Suckling and Thomas Carew. These poets are also called the ‘Sons of Ben’ as they were admirers and followers of Ben Jonson. They usually wrote short lyric poems generally in lighter vein, gay, trivial, witty and often licentious. The main object of their poems was the ‘woman and beauty’.

Robert Herrick was, indeed, a Cavalier poet. Because his poetry especially ‘Delight In Disorder’ bears all the characteristics of a Cavalier poet’s writings. If we look into the poem, we must get the evidence in favor of it.

The poem ‘Delight in Disorder’ is notably short in length and very much witty as well as licentious in theme. It deals with the description of a disorderly dressed lady. Most probably the name of the lady is ‘Julia’.

We, very beginning of the poem, see that, the poet traces out a disorder in the lawn that is thrown carelessly about the shoulders. Says the poet;

“A lawn about the shoulders thrown

Into a fine distraction;”

The lawn should be attached with shoulders. But lady’s one is free from her neck. This is the source of joy for the poet.

Next, the poet finds another disorder in her stomacher. As the poet describes:

“An erring lace which here and there

Enthralls the crimson stomacher.”

Thirdly, the poet gets one more disorder in her cuff which is used carelessly in lady’s hand. As the poet narrates:

“A cuff neglectful and thereby;

Ribbons to flow confusedly.”

Fourthly the poet notices a disorder in lady’s petticoat. In poet’s speech:

“A winning wave, deserving note,

In the tempestuous petticoat;”

The petticoat should be well attached with body, but the petticoat of the lady is waiving in the air. The poet thinks it is a delightful meter.

Finally, the poet discovers a disorder in her shoestring. As remarks the poet;

“A careless shoestring in whose tie

I see a wild civility:”

Generally, disorder makes a man displeased, but in case of poet it makes him pleased as he says;

“Do More Bewitch” me ‘them when art

Is too precise in every part.

In conclusion it must be said that, Robert Herrick, a Cavalier poet, very successfully breaks the traditional concept that delight can only be found in harmony through the poem “delight in disorder” Moreover it possesses a high musical quality and the melodious end rhyme. So considering ale these things, it can be regarded as the best example of his poetic intelligence.



Source by Talim Enam

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