Study Guide

Slow, Slow, Fresh Fount Sound Check

By Ben Jonson

Sound Check

We can't help thinking that if Echo had lived in our day and age, she might have been a big fan of our dearly departed Whitney Houston. She's bidding farewell to her lover man, and channeling her grief into a song that would make the best of the power balladeers proud. "Slow, Slow, Fresh Fount" has it all, including plenty of references to grief ("tears," "heavy part," "grief," etc.). Plus, the poem starts slow with its many spondees and stressed syllables, and then builds to a crescendo in which Echo can barely contain herself: "drop, drop, drop, drop" (Line 10).

Think of the first few lines as a verse, you know, nothing too special: "Slow, slow, fresh fount, keep time with my salt tears." The alliteration of S and F helps get us into the groove, but we aren't being blown out of the water just yet. By the time you get to lines 5-7, it starts to seem like the singer is gearing up for something – preparing for a chorus – belting out short, quick sentences full of emotion: "Droop herbs and flowers;/ Fall grief in showers;/ Our beauties are not ours."

After that last line the song really starts to get powerful and loud. She's hitting the high notes. To which we say, sing it, girl.

Oh, and feel free to head over to "Best of the Web" to hear some people singing the poem.