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Slow, Slow, Fresh Fount

Slow, Slow, Fresh Fount

by Ben Jonson

Man and the Natural World Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Slow, slow, fresh fount, keep time with my salt tears
Yet slower yet, oh faintly gentle springs (1-2)

The fact that Echo has to tell the "gentle springs" twice to slow down or "keep time" could mean that nature just isn't listening. Echo wants nature to mourn the loss of Narcissus with her, but it seems like the natural world has bigger fish to fry.

Quote #2

Droop herbs and flowers;
Fall grief in showers (5-6)

Geez, stop being so bossy, Echo. Of course, we could read these lines as a mere statement – the herbs and flowers droop. The way we read these lines – as either a command or a description – changes the way we read the entire poem. If it's a command, then we might see Echo as desperately hoping that nature will reflect her feelings. If it's a description, then we might see Echo as a nymph who is deeply connected to the natural world.

Quote #3

Oh, I could still,
Like melting snow upon some craggy hill,
Drop, drop, drop, drop (8-10)

This melting snow reminds us of something, doesn't it? Like, maybe, the "tears" of the first line? As her tears fall, so does the snow melt. But hey, maybe that's a good thing. After all, once the snow is gone, it's springtime.

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