What does the poem "Rosalind's Madrigal" mean?

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Michael Ugulini | (Level 3) Educator

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The poem "Rosalind's Madrigal", by Thomas Lodge is a four stanza work that talks about being enveloped in love, or being stung by the sweet, and sometimes bittersweet sting of love.

The poet talks of love as taking hold of him - as if a bee has settled in his bosom:

Love in my bosom like a bee,

 Doth suck his sweet;

The poet indicates that love for someone has overtaken him and that it causes him to even lose sleep at night. In essence, the poet is saying that love controls his thoughts and actions day and night. The power of love is hard to resist even though choosing to love - to take a chance on love - can also be painful if that love is not reciprocated.

The poet also indicates that he will do what he has to to keep love. This is evident in the line:

I'll shut my eyes to keep you in,

Therefore, the poet gives credence to the time-honored belief that love is a powerful emotion that powerfully influences the decisions and the directions we choose to take in life.

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