Glow-worms

I have returned. Not that I went very far: my sister lured me to Hampshire with the promise of glow-worms. Wikipedia tells me that the glow worm we have in the UK is a species of firefly, but they don’t fly, or flash; the females are wingless, and sit in the grass glowing to attract the flying males. 

I suppose if you live somewhere where the fireflies are a bit more spectacular, the glow worm might seem a bit underwhelming, but they are what we have and I’ve never seen them before, so I was very pleased. This is Andrew Marvell, and one of my favourite poems:

The Mower to the Glow-worms

Ye living lamps, by whose dear light
The nightingale does sit so late,
And studying all the summer night,
Her matchless songs does meditate;

Ye county comets, that portend
No war nor prince’s funeral,
Shining unto no higher end
Than to presage the grass’s fall;

Ye glow-worms, whose officious flame
To wand’ring mowers shows the way,
That in the night have lost their aim,
And after foolish fires do stray;

Your courteous lights in vain you waste,
Since Juliana here is come,
For she my mind hath so displac’d
That I shall never find my home.

We also went for a couple of nice walks; lots of butterflies, lots of flowers, woodlark, stonechat, a pair of peregrines. And at Mottisfont Abbey, this moth, a Scarlet Tiger. So it was a very satisfactory trip all round.

2 Comments

  1. Jee Leong
    29 June 2008 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Hi Harry,
    I used your beautiful fireflies triolet, properly attributed of course, in my poetry writing workshop. I hope that’s okay. The class liked it very much.

  2. Harry
    29 June 2008 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Yup, glad to help, and glad they liked it :)

One Trackback

  1. […] Seeing glow-worms was a genuine life-time ambition fulfilled. They’re not as spectacular as some of the species of bioluminescent insect found elsewhere — just a few gentle green glowing dots in the grass on a June evening — but they were still fabulous.  […]

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