The Circle [3]

X (Close panel) Sources

The Circle [3]

Poem 25

Original Source

Hester Pulter, Poems breathed forth by the nobel Hadassas, University of Leeds Library, Brotherton Collection, MS Lt q 32

Versions

  • Facsimile of manuscript: Photographs provided by University of Leeds, Brotherton Collection

  • Transcription of manuscript: By Leah Knight and Wendy Wall.
  • Elemental edition: By Leah Knight and Wendy Wall.
  • Amplified edition: By Elizabeth Scott-Baumann.

How to cite these versions

Conventions for these editions

The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making

  • Created by Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
  • Encoded by Katherine Poland, Matthew Taylor, Elizabeth Chou, and Emily Andrey, Northwestern University
  • Website designed by Sergei Kalugin, Northwestern University
  • IT project consultation by Josh Honn, Northwestern University
  • Project sponsored by Northwestern University, Brock University, and University of Leeds
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X (Close panel)Notes: Transcription
Title note

 Physical note

The previous poem concludes at the top of this page.

 Editorial note

In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
X (Close panel)Transcription
Transcription

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
Physical Note
The previous poem concludes at the top of this page.
The Circle
[3]
The Circle [3]
The Circle [3]
In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
The aim of the elemental edition is to make the poems accessible to the largest variety of readers, which involves modernizing spelling and punctuation as well as adding basic glosses. Spelling and punctuation reflect current standard American usage; punctuation highlights syntax which might otherwise be obscure. Outmoded but still familiar word forms (“thou,” “‘tis,” “hold’st”) are not modernized, and we do not modernize grammar when the sense remains legible. After a brief headnote aimed at offering a “way in” to the poem’s unique qualities and connections with other verse by Pulter or her contemporaries, the edition features a minimum of notes and interpretative framing to allow more immediate engagement with the poem. Glosses clarify synonyms or showcase various possible meanings in Pulter’s time. Other notes identify named people and places or clarify obscure material. We rely (without citation) primarily on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the Oxford Reference database, and the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. When we rely on Alice Eardley’s edition of Pulter’s work, we cite her text generally (“Eardley”); other sources are cited in full. The result is an edition we consider a springboard for further work on Pulter’s poetry. See full conventions for this edition here.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
With an undergraduate and graduate student audience in mind, this poem has been modernised in spelling and punctuation. Where modernisation would affect form, priority has been given to the integrity of the poem’s formal features (so, for instance, verb endings -est and -eth have been retained unmodernised; where the meter requires it, the verb ending -ed is accented, e.g., “Then shall thy blessèd influence”). Nouns have been capitalized only when there is clear personification. The notes provide information essential to understanding the poem, while the Headnote aims to stimulate readers’ own interpretations through suggesting literary or historical contexts, possible influences, comparable poems (by Pulter and by her predecessors and peers) and relevant critical arguments.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
In the third of four poems by the same name, Pulter cites the earth’s eternal circling as a model for those who resist death. Such resistance is castigated as “impatiency”; since the word derives from the Latin passio, or suffering, refusing death is refusing suffering, and thus it is a kind of impatience (or anti-patience). In another condensed formulation that may at first be hard to parse, Pulter advises attention to things that “revolve,” which seem at first—not least through internal rhyme—to contrast with the addressee, who must “dissolve.” But the phrase “it is no more” signals not that a person’s dissolution or death is their destruction (that they are no more); rather, it suggests that death is nothing but another revolution, a mere turn of the circle. The same issue is summed up in Why Art Thou Sad at the Approach of Night [Poem 47]: “revolution / Is the preserving of the universe / From dissolution.” Pulter’s turn to her most usual poetic form, the couplet, is delayed in Poem 25 by an initial triplet; by prolonging the first rhyme, it seems to command the extraordinary patience that the poem recommends.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
This poem suggests wittily that unwillingness to die is a kind of impatience with life, because death actually brings life again. When earthly things (including humans) die, Pulter suggests, they are dissolved and “revolve” or return because all matter is recycled or regenerated just as the earth rotates. Pulter’s speaker downplays death by counselling that it comes to all (“In the whole world’s society”, i.e., in the company of everyone in the world) and also that death is only a kind of revolution. The phrase “when thou dost dissolve it is no more” briefly allows the possibility that the world dissolves when we do, but pulls back to the sense of “it [death] is no more” than the revolution of “many things”. This poem is the third in the manuscript to be titled ‘The Circle’ and it plays with religious, philosophical and materialist ideas of circularity, combining Christian-stoical advice not to fear death with a materialist belief in the recycling of matter. The image of the “mound” is potent here, combining the sense of the circular earth, the globe, with a pile of dirt, which rotates and also orbits the sun, and is in a constant process of regeneration.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
To bee unwilling or afraid to die
To be unwilling or afraid to die
To be unwilling or afraid to die
2
In the whole Worlds Society,
In the whole world’s society
In the whole world’s
Gloss Note
fellowship; company
society
,
3
Is a Sign of Huge impatiencie
Is a sign of huge impatiency.
Is a sign of huge
Gloss Note
lack of patience; more broadly, failure to endure suffering
impatiency
.
4
That many things Revolve thou mayest explore
That many things
Gloss Note
turn on an axis; return to a state or place
revolve
, thou may’st
Gloss Note
examine, survey, discover
explore
;
That many things
Gloss Note
turn; return, regress or restore; turn over in one’s mind, ponder
revolve
thou mayest explore
5
And when thou dost diſſolve it is noe more
And when thou dost
Gloss Note
die; disintegrate
dissolve
, it is no more.
And when thou dost
Gloss Note
disintegrate; more unusually, to die or depart
dissolve
it is no more,
6
ffor Soe this earthly tranſcitory Mound
For so this earthly
Gloss Note
fleeting, transient
transitory
mound
For so this earthly
Gloss Note
not lasting, transient
transitory
Gloss Note
pile of dirt; the earth
mound
7
In An eternall motion Still runs Round.
In an eternal motion still runs round.
In an eternal motion still runs round.
X (Close panel)Notes: Elemental Edition

 Editorial note

The aim of the elemental edition is to make the poems accessible to the largest variety of readers, which involves modernizing spelling and punctuation as well as adding basic glosses. Spelling and punctuation reflect current standard American usage; punctuation highlights syntax which might otherwise be obscure. Outmoded but still familiar word forms (“thou,” “‘tis,” “hold’st”) are not modernized, and we do not modernize grammar when the sense remains legible. After a brief headnote aimed at offering a “way in” to the poem’s unique qualities and connections with other verse by Pulter or her contemporaries, the edition features a minimum of notes and interpretative framing to allow more immediate engagement with the poem. Glosses clarify synonyms or showcase various possible meanings in Pulter’s time. Other notes identify named people and places or clarify obscure material. We rely (without citation) primarily on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the Oxford Reference database, and the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. When we rely on Alice Eardley’s edition of Pulter’s work, we cite her text generally (“Eardley”); other sources are cited in full. The result is an edition we consider a springboard for further work on Pulter’s poetry. See full conventions for this edition here.

 Headnote

In the third of four poems by the same name, Pulter cites the earth’s eternal circling as a model for those who resist death. Such resistance is castigated as “impatiency”; since the word derives from the Latin passio, or suffering, refusing death is refusing suffering, and thus it is a kind of impatience (or anti-patience). In another condensed formulation that may at first be hard to parse, Pulter advises attention to things that “revolve,” which seem at first—not least through internal rhyme—to contrast with the addressee, who must “dissolve.” But the phrase “it is no more” signals not that a person’s dissolution or death is their destruction (that they are no more); rather, it suggests that death is nothing but another revolution, a mere turn of the circle. The same issue is summed up in Why Art Thou Sad at the Approach of Night [Poem 47]: “revolution / Is the preserving of the universe / From dissolution.” Pulter’s turn to her most usual poetic form, the couplet, is delayed in Poem 25 by an initial triplet; by prolonging the first rhyme, it seems to command the extraordinary patience that the poem recommends.
Line number 4

 Gloss note

turn on an axis; return to a state or place
Line number 4

 Gloss note

examine, survey, discover
Line number 5

 Gloss note

die; disintegrate
Line number 6

 Gloss note

fleeting, transient
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
X (Close panel)Elemental Edition
Elemental Edition

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
Physical Note
The previous poem concludes at the top of this page.
The Circle
[3]
The Circle [3]
The Circle [3]
In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
The aim of the elemental edition is to make the poems accessible to the largest variety of readers, which involves modernizing spelling and punctuation as well as adding basic glosses. Spelling and punctuation reflect current standard American usage; punctuation highlights syntax which might otherwise be obscure. Outmoded but still familiar word forms (“thou,” “‘tis,” “hold’st”) are not modernized, and we do not modernize grammar when the sense remains legible. After a brief headnote aimed at offering a “way in” to the poem’s unique qualities and connections with other verse by Pulter or her contemporaries, the edition features a minimum of notes and interpretative framing to allow more immediate engagement with the poem. Glosses clarify synonyms or showcase various possible meanings in Pulter’s time. Other notes identify named people and places or clarify obscure material. We rely (without citation) primarily on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the Oxford Reference database, and the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. When we rely on Alice Eardley’s edition of Pulter’s work, we cite her text generally (“Eardley”); other sources are cited in full. The result is an edition we consider a springboard for further work on Pulter’s poetry. See full conventions for this edition here.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
With an undergraduate and graduate student audience in mind, this poem has been modernised in spelling and punctuation. Where modernisation would affect form, priority has been given to the integrity of the poem’s formal features (so, for instance, verb endings -est and -eth have been retained unmodernised; where the meter requires it, the verb ending -ed is accented, e.g., “Then shall thy blessèd influence”). Nouns have been capitalized only when there is clear personification. The notes provide information essential to understanding the poem, while the Headnote aims to stimulate readers’ own interpretations through suggesting literary or historical contexts, possible influences, comparable poems (by Pulter and by her predecessors and peers) and relevant critical arguments.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
In the third of four poems by the same name, Pulter cites the earth’s eternal circling as a model for those who resist death. Such resistance is castigated as “impatiency”; since the word derives from the Latin passio, or suffering, refusing death is refusing suffering, and thus it is a kind of impatience (or anti-patience). In another condensed formulation that may at first be hard to parse, Pulter advises attention to things that “revolve,” which seem at first—not least through internal rhyme—to contrast with the addressee, who must “dissolve.” But the phrase “it is no more” signals not that a person’s dissolution or death is their destruction (that they are no more); rather, it suggests that death is nothing but another revolution, a mere turn of the circle. The same issue is summed up in Why Art Thou Sad at the Approach of Night [Poem 47]: “revolution / Is the preserving of the universe / From dissolution.” Pulter’s turn to her most usual poetic form, the couplet, is delayed in Poem 25 by an initial triplet; by prolonging the first rhyme, it seems to command the extraordinary patience that the poem recommends.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
This poem suggests wittily that unwillingness to die is a kind of impatience with life, because death actually brings life again. When earthly things (including humans) die, Pulter suggests, they are dissolved and “revolve” or return because all matter is recycled or regenerated just as the earth rotates. Pulter’s speaker downplays death by counselling that it comes to all (“In the whole world’s society”, i.e., in the company of everyone in the world) and also that death is only a kind of revolution. The phrase “when thou dost dissolve it is no more” briefly allows the possibility that the world dissolves when we do, but pulls back to the sense of “it [death] is no more” than the revolution of “many things”. This poem is the third in the manuscript to be titled ‘The Circle’ and it plays with religious, philosophical and materialist ideas of circularity, combining Christian-stoical advice not to fear death with a materialist belief in the recycling of matter. The image of the “mound” is potent here, combining the sense of the circular earth, the globe, with a pile of dirt, which rotates and also orbits the sun, and is in a constant process of regeneration.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
To bee unwilling or afraid to die
To be unwilling or afraid to die
To be unwilling or afraid to die
2
In the whole Worlds Society,
In the whole world’s society
In the whole world’s
Gloss Note
fellowship; company
society
,
3
Is a Sign of Huge impatiencie
Is a sign of huge impatiency.
Is a sign of huge
Gloss Note
lack of patience; more broadly, failure to endure suffering
impatiency
.
4
That many things Revolve thou mayest explore
That many things
Gloss Note
turn on an axis; return to a state or place
revolve
, thou may’st
Gloss Note
examine, survey, discover
explore
;
That many things
Gloss Note
turn; return, regress or restore; turn over in one’s mind, ponder
revolve
thou mayest explore
5
And when thou dost diſſolve it is noe more
And when thou dost
Gloss Note
die; disintegrate
dissolve
, it is no more.
And when thou dost
Gloss Note
disintegrate; more unusually, to die or depart
dissolve
it is no more,
6
ffor Soe this earthly tranſcitory Mound
For so this earthly
Gloss Note
fleeting, transient
transitory
mound
For so this earthly
Gloss Note
not lasting, transient
transitory
Gloss Note
pile of dirt; the earth
mound
7
In An eternall motion Still runs Round.
In an eternal motion still runs round.
In an eternal motion still runs round.
X (Close panel)Notes: Amplified Edition

 Editorial note

With an undergraduate and graduate student audience in mind, this poem has been modernised in spelling and punctuation. Where modernisation would affect form, priority has been given to the integrity of the poem’s formal features (so, for instance, verb endings -est and -eth have been retained unmodernised; where the meter requires it, the verb ending -ed is accented, e.g., “Then shall thy blessèd influence”). Nouns have been capitalized only when there is clear personification. The notes provide information essential to understanding the poem, while the Headnote aims to stimulate readers’ own interpretations through suggesting literary or historical contexts, possible influences, comparable poems (by Pulter and by her predecessors and peers) and relevant critical arguments.

 Headnote

This poem suggests wittily that unwillingness to die is a kind of impatience with life, because death actually brings life again. When earthly things (including humans) die, Pulter suggests, they are dissolved and “revolve” or return because all matter is recycled or regenerated just as the earth rotates. Pulter’s speaker downplays death by counselling that it comes to all (“In the whole world’s society”, i.e., in the company of everyone in the world) and also that death is only a kind of revolution. The phrase “when thou dost dissolve it is no more” briefly allows the possibility that the world dissolves when we do, but pulls back to the sense of “it [death] is no more” than the revolution of “many things”. This poem is the third in the manuscript to be titled ‘The Circle’ and it plays with religious, philosophical and materialist ideas of circularity, combining Christian-stoical advice not to fear death with a materialist belief in the recycling of matter. The image of the “mound” is potent here, combining the sense of the circular earth, the globe, with a pile of dirt, which rotates and also orbits the sun, and is in a constant process of regeneration.
Line number 2

 Gloss note

fellowship; company
Line number 3

 Gloss note

lack of patience; more broadly, failure to endure suffering
Line number 4

 Gloss note

turn; return, regress or restore; turn over in one’s mind, ponder
Line number 5

 Gloss note

disintegrate; more unusually, to die or depart
Line number 6

 Gloss note

not lasting, transient
Line number 6

 Gloss note

pile of dirt; the earth
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
X (Close panel)Amplified Edition
Amplified Edition

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
Physical Note
The previous poem concludes at the top of this page.
The Circle
[3]
The Circle [3]
The Circle [3]
In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.

— Elizabeth Scott-Baumann
The aim of the elemental edition is to make the poems accessible to the largest variety of readers, which involves modernizing spelling and punctuation as well as adding basic glosses. Spelling and punctuation reflect current standard American usage; punctuation highlights syntax which might otherwise be obscure. Outmoded but still familiar word forms (“thou,” “‘tis,” “hold’st”) are not modernized, and we do not modernize grammar when the sense remains legible. After a brief headnote aimed at offering a “way in” to the poem’s unique qualities and connections with other verse by Pulter or her contemporaries, the edition features a minimum of notes and interpretative framing to allow more immediate engagement with the poem. Glosses clarify synonyms or showcase various possible meanings in Pulter’s time. Other notes identify named people and places or clarify obscure material. We rely (without citation) primarily on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the Oxford Reference database, and the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. When we rely on Alice Eardley’s edition of Pulter’s work, we cite her text generally (“Eardley”); other sources are cited in full. The result is an edition we consider a springboard for further work on Pulter’s poetry. See full conventions for this edition here.

— Elizabeth Scott-Baumann
With an undergraduate and graduate student audience in mind, this poem has been modernised in spelling and punctuation. Where modernisation would affect form, priority has been given to the integrity of the poem’s formal features (so, for instance, verb endings -est and -eth have been retained unmodernised; where the meter requires it, the verb ending -ed is accented, e.g., “Then shall thy blessèd influence”). Nouns have been capitalized only when there is clear personification. The notes provide information essential to understanding the poem, while the Headnote aims to stimulate readers’ own interpretations through suggesting literary or historical contexts, possible influences, comparable poems (by Pulter and by her predecessors and peers) and relevant critical arguments.

— Elizabeth Scott-Baumann
In the third of four poems by the same name, Pulter cites the earth’s eternal circling as a model for those who resist death. Such resistance is castigated as “impatiency”; since the word derives from the Latin passio, or suffering, refusing death is refusing suffering, and thus it is a kind of impatience (or anti-patience). In another condensed formulation that may at first be hard to parse, Pulter advises attention to things that “revolve,” which seem at first—not least through internal rhyme—to contrast with the addressee, who must “dissolve.” But the phrase “it is no more” signals not that a person’s dissolution or death is their destruction (that they are no more); rather, it suggests that death is nothing but another revolution, a mere turn of the circle. The same issue is summed up in Why Art Thou Sad at the Approach of Night [Poem 47]: “revolution / Is the preserving of the universe / From dissolution.” Pulter’s turn to her most usual poetic form, the couplet, is delayed in Poem 25 by an initial triplet; by prolonging the first rhyme, it seems to command the extraordinary patience that the poem recommends.

— Elizabeth Scott-Baumann
This poem suggests wittily that unwillingness to die is a kind of impatience with life, because death actually brings life again. When earthly things (including humans) die, Pulter suggests, they are dissolved and “revolve” or return because all matter is recycled or regenerated just as the earth rotates. Pulter’s speaker downplays death by counselling that it comes to all (“In the whole world’s society”, i.e., in the company of everyone in the world) and also that death is only a kind of revolution. The phrase “when thou dost dissolve it is no more” briefly allows the possibility that the world dissolves when we do, but pulls back to the sense of “it [death] is no more” than the revolution of “many things”. This poem is the third in the manuscript to be titled ‘The Circle’ and it plays with religious, philosophical and materialist ideas of circularity, combining Christian-stoical advice not to fear death with a materialist belief in the recycling of matter. The image of the “mound” is potent here, combining the sense of the circular earth, the globe, with a pile of dirt, which rotates and also orbits the sun, and is in a constant process of regeneration.

— Elizabeth Scott-Baumann
1
To bee unwilling or afraid to die
To be unwilling or afraid to die
To be unwilling or afraid to die
2
In the whole Worlds Society,
In the whole world’s society
In the whole world’s
Gloss Note
fellowship; company
society
,
3
Is a Sign of Huge impatiencie
Is a sign of huge impatiency.
Is a sign of huge
Gloss Note
lack of patience; more broadly, failure to endure suffering
impatiency
.
4
That many things Revolve thou mayest explore
That many things
Gloss Note
turn on an axis; return to a state or place
revolve
, thou may’st
Gloss Note
examine, survey, discover
explore
;
That many things
Gloss Note
turn; return, regress or restore; turn over in one’s mind, ponder
revolve
thou mayest explore
5
And when thou dost diſſolve it is noe more
And when thou dost
Gloss Note
die; disintegrate
dissolve
, it is no more.
And when thou dost
Gloss Note
disintegrate; more unusually, to die or depart
dissolve
it is no more,
6
ffor Soe this earthly tranſcitory Mound
For so this earthly
Gloss Note
fleeting, transient
transitory
mound
For so this earthly
Gloss Note
not lasting, transient
transitory
Gloss Note
pile of dirt; the earth
mound
7
In An eternall motion Still runs Round.
In an eternal motion still runs round.
In an eternal motion still runs round.
X (Close panel) All Notes
Transcription
Title note

 Physical note

The previous poem concludes at the top of this page.
Transcription

 Editorial note

In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.
Elemental Edition

 Editorial note

The aim of the elemental edition is to make the poems accessible to the largest variety of readers, which involves modernizing spelling and punctuation as well as adding basic glosses. Spelling and punctuation reflect current standard American usage; punctuation highlights syntax which might otherwise be obscure. Outmoded but still familiar word forms (“thou,” “‘tis,” “hold’st”) are not modernized, and we do not modernize grammar when the sense remains legible. After a brief headnote aimed at offering a “way in” to the poem’s unique qualities and connections with other verse by Pulter or her contemporaries, the edition features a minimum of notes and interpretative framing to allow more immediate engagement with the poem. Glosses clarify synonyms or showcase various possible meanings in Pulter’s time. Other notes identify named people and places or clarify obscure material. We rely (without citation) primarily on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the Oxford Reference database, and the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. When we rely on Alice Eardley’s edition of Pulter’s work, we cite her text generally (“Eardley”); other sources are cited in full. The result is an edition we consider a springboard for further work on Pulter’s poetry. See full conventions for this edition here.
Amplified Edition

 Editorial note

With an undergraduate and graduate student audience in mind, this poem has been modernised in spelling and punctuation. Where modernisation would affect form, priority has been given to the integrity of the poem’s formal features (so, for instance, verb endings -est and -eth have been retained unmodernised; where the meter requires it, the verb ending -ed is accented, e.g., “Then shall thy blessèd influence”). Nouns have been capitalized only when there is clear personification. The notes provide information essential to understanding the poem, while the Headnote aims to stimulate readers’ own interpretations through suggesting literary or historical contexts, possible influences, comparable poems (by Pulter and by her predecessors and peers) and relevant critical arguments.
Elemental Edition

 Headnote

In the third of four poems by the same name, Pulter cites the earth’s eternal circling as a model for those who resist death. Such resistance is castigated as “impatiency”; since the word derives from the Latin passio, or suffering, refusing death is refusing suffering, and thus it is a kind of impatience (or anti-patience). In another condensed formulation that may at first be hard to parse, Pulter advises attention to things that “revolve,” which seem at first—not least through internal rhyme—to contrast with the addressee, who must “dissolve.” But the phrase “it is no more” signals not that a person’s dissolution or death is their destruction (that they are no more); rather, it suggests that death is nothing but another revolution, a mere turn of the circle. The same issue is summed up in Why Art Thou Sad at the Approach of Night [Poem 47]: “revolution / Is the preserving of the universe / From dissolution.” Pulter’s turn to her most usual poetic form, the couplet, is delayed in Poem 25 by an initial triplet; by prolonging the first rhyme, it seems to command the extraordinary patience that the poem recommends.
Amplified Edition

 Headnote

This poem suggests wittily that unwillingness to die is a kind of impatience with life, because death actually brings life again. When earthly things (including humans) die, Pulter suggests, they are dissolved and “revolve” or return because all matter is recycled or regenerated just as the earth rotates. Pulter’s speaker downplays death by counselling that it comes to all (“In the whole world’s society”, i.e., in the company of everyone in the world) and also that death is only a kind of revolution. The phrase “when thou dost dissolve it is no more” briefly allows the possibility that the world dissolves when we do, but pulls back to the sense of “it [death] is no more” than the revolution of “many things”. This poem is the third in the manuscript to be titled ‘The Circle’ and it plays with religious, philosophical and materialist ideas of circularity, combining Christian-stoical advice not to fear death with a materialist belief in the recycling of matter. The image of the “mound” is potent here, combining the sense of the circular earth, the globe, with a pile of dirt, which rotates and also orbits the sun, and is in a constant process of regeneration.
Amplified Edition
Line number 2

 Gloss note

fellowship; company
Amplified Edition
Line number 3

 Gloss note

lack of patience; more broadly, failure to endure suffering
Elemental Edition
Line number 4

 Gloss note

turn on an axis; return to a state or place
Elemental Edition
Line number 4

 Gloss note

examine, survey, discover
Amplified Edition
Line number 4

 Gloss note

turn; return, regress or restore; turn over in one’s mind, ponder
Elemental Edition
Line number 5

 Gloss note

die; disintegrate
Amplified Edition
Line number 5

 Gloss note

disintegrate; more unusually, to die or depart
Elemental Edition
Line number 6

 Gloss note

fleeting, transient
Amplified Edition
Line number 6

 Gloss note

not lasting, transient
Amplified Edition
Line number 6

 Gloss note

pile of dirt; the earth
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
ManuscriptX (Close panel)
image