What does Celia do with the wreath the speaker gave to her in "Song: To Celia"?

Celia sends back the wreath the poet gave her in Ben Jonson's "Song: To Celia." However, this is not necessarily because she does not return the poet's love. It may be that the wreath has been mystically changed in her presence, so sending it back constitutes another gift from her to him.

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The speaker of this poem presents a wreath to Celia, whom he finds utterly captivating, as a sort of test. Instead of trying to honor her with the gift, he seeks to determine if Celia has the power to rescue this wreath from decay. After all, wreaths are constructed from materials which have been cut, separating them from natural resources.

I don't think the speaker expected to get the wreath back, indicated by the "But" which begins line 5 of the second stanza. Instead of keeping the wreath, Celia breathes on it and sends it back to the speaker.

Interestingly, it seems that Celia's very breath has some sort of mystical power, and now this wreath, constructed of materials no longer connected to nutrients, grows. And instead of smelling like the roses which it holds, the wreath smells like Celia herself.

The fact that Celia returns the wreath furthers the sense of mystery which seems to captivate the speaker from the opening lines. He seems to be seeking some sort of confirmation that Celia can pledge herself to him, and although she has the power to do so, Celia still seems just a bit out of reach. Her mystical powers continue to intrigue the speaker as he observes the effects of her breath on a wreath which should be decaying. The speaker's own sense of fascination seems to grow because of Celia's powers, much like the materials of the dead wreath continue to flourish.

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In the second half of "Song: To Celia," Ben Jonson writes:

I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honouring thee
As giving it a hope, that there
It could not withered be.
But thou thereon didst only breathe,
And sent’st it back to me;
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
Not of itself, but thee.
The simple answer, therefore, is that Celia sends back the wreath to the poet, and the simplest explanation of this is that she does not want the wreath because she does not return his love. However, the first half of the poem is by no means disconsolate, and gives no indication that the poet's love is unrequited. The conclusion is open to a similar interpretation. The poet sends the wreath in the hope that it will remain eternally fresh and green in Celia's presence. Celia breathes on it and sends it back. Perhaps she breathes on the wreath because one cannot help breathing on things that are under one's nose. Alternatively, though, her breath may be imbued with magical properties. Since Celia has returned the wreath, it not only smells of her rather than the flowers it contains (an assertion which might not be altogether a compliment), but also "grows." The flowers on a wreath are dead or dying, so it is clearly unexpected that the wreath should grow. A possible interpretation, therefore, is that Celia's presence has an immediate effect on the wreath and she sends it back, revivified, to the poet as a gift and a proof of her powers. These are even greater than he imagined, since the wreath not only remains green, but continues to grow.
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When Celia receives the wreath from the speaker, she breathes on it and then, instead of keeping it, sends it back to the speaker:

I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honoring thee,
As giving hope that there
It could not withered be
But thou thereto didst only breathe
And sent it back to me; 

If you interpret Celia's actions here on a literal level, you might think, "Okay, the speaker is very much in love with her. So he sent her a wreath of roses as a gift and as an expression of love. She must not love him back, because she returned the gift. Someone who was glad to receive that gift would have thanked the speaker and then displayed the gift somewhere in the home."

However, as discussed here on eNotes, some readers see a bit more going on in this poem. Notice how the speaker says that he sends the wreath to Celia because "it could not withered be" in her presence, which hints that he believes she holds some kind of divine power over natural things. (He means that, somehow, the flowers in the wreath won't die if Celia is near them.) But then Celia breathes on the wreath ("But thou thereto didst only breathe") before sending it back to the speaker, and after that, the wreath not only smells like Celia but also somehow magically keeps on growing:

Since when it grows and smells, I swear,
Not of itself, but thee.

So, as you consider what Celia did with the wreath, instead of thinking that she just didn't want the gift, you might think that she imbued it with some kind of divine magic, then returned it to the speaker as a gift of her own.

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