Showing posts from December, 2017

Aphra Behn and the Pastoral Ideal

Aphra Behn - 'The Golden Age' ( A pastoral poem)

(1640- 1689)

Image of Aphra Behn gratefully uploaded from the website 

“Blest age when  ev'ry purling stream Ran undistrubed and clear, When no scorned shepherds on your banks were seen, Tortured by love, by jealousy, or fear; When an eternal Spring dressed ev'ry bough And blossoms fell, by new ones dispossessed ".......

Aphra Behn ‘s poem ‘’The Golden Age’ was published in 1684 featured in  a collection titled ‘Poems for all Occasions-With A Voyage to the Island of Love’. The poem is partly based on an unidentified French work. Aphra Behn  eulogises an unplaced time and land where nature is benign and humanity lives out a harmonious existence.  

The concept of a mythical past is at least as old as Greek antiquity. What so intriguing about Aphra Behn is that what seems to have triggered the poem is a visit to the English colony of Suriname rather than reading the classics.

" Then no rough sound of w…