The poem opens with the speaker about to describe what happens when ("whenas") Julia wears silk. Good things, we hope.
To go in silks means to wear silks, or to pass by wearing silks.
We don't know who Julia is, but we know she's got fancy taste in clothes. After all, silk doesn't come cheap.
Let's read on to get the scoop on this well-dressed lady.
Can you guys spot any meter here? Whenas in silks my Julia goes. We've got an unstressed syllable, followed by a stressed one, and that pattern repeats four times. That's a little thing we here at Shmoop like to call iambic tetrameter. Keep your eye out for more tetrameter, and be sure to check out our "Form and Meter" section for the lowdown on what it's doing here.
Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows That liquefaction of her clothes.
Methinks just means it seems to me. Use it when you're feelin' fancy. (Methinks I'll imbibe a spot of tea!)
Liquefaction means becoming liquid. Sounds sciencey, right?
So apparently this Julia's clothes are liquefying before our speaker's very eyes?
We're thinking this is not literal. Although it would be awesome if Julia had some Alex Mack superpowers.
Nah, we bet that the speaker is just saying that it seems to him like Julia's clothes flow like some kind of liquid when she passes by. It's a metaphor, folks.
Note the rhyme, Shmoopers. We've got goes, flows, and clothes. So far, that means our rhyme scheme is the ever-complex AAA.