T Thomas Campion

There is a Garden in Her Face by Thomas Campion

‘There is a Garden in Her Face’ by Thomas Campion is a poem about a woman’s beauty. It also contains a warning to suitors that she won’t let anyone kiss her or come near her in any meaningful way. 

There is a Garden in Her Face by Thomas Campion Visual Representation

This poem provides readers with many different examples of figurative language. Primarily, the poet uses examples of similes and metaphors. The central metaphor compares the woman’s face to a “Garden.” Her lips, the speaker says, are cherries. At one point in ‘There is a Garden in Her Face,’ he also compares them to rosebuds filled with snow (the snow being her teeth). 

There is a Garden in Her Face 
Thomas Campion

There is a garden in her face
Where roses and white lilies grow;
A heav'nly paradise is that place
Wherein all pleasant fruits do flow.
There cherries grow which none may buy,
Till "Cherry ripe" themselves do cry.

Those cherries fairly do enclose
Of orient pearl a double row,
Which when her lovely laughter shows,
They look like rose-buds fill'd with snow;
Yet them nor peer nor prince can buy,
Till "Cherry ripe" themselves do cry.

Her eyes like angels watch them still,
Her brows like bended bows do stand,
Threat'ning with piercing frowns to kill
All that attempt with eye or hand
Those sacred cherries to come nigh,
Till "Cherry ripe" themselves do cry.
There is a Garden in Her Face by Thomas Campion


Summary

There is a Garden in Her Face’ by Thomas Campion is an interesting poem about a woman’s beauty.

In the first lines of the poem, the speaker begins by describing a woman’s face like a garden. It has numerous beautiful features, one of the best of which is her lips. These are like cherries that are unattainable for any man who seeks them out. No one can come near her lips until “Cherry ripe,” they cry out themselves. 

Structure and Form 

There is a Garden in Her Face’ by Thomas Campion is a three-stanza poem separated into sets of six lines, known as sestets. These sestets follow a rhyme scheme of ABABCC, changing end sounds in each stanza. The majority of the lines are also written in iambic tetrameter. This means that the lines contain four sets of two beats, the first of which is unstressed and the second of which is stressed. There are some exceptions, like line three of the first stanza, which is longer. 

Literary Devices 

Throughout this piece, the poet makes use of several literary devices. These include but are not limited to: 

  • Alliteration: occurs when the poet repeats the same consonant sound at the beginning of multiple words. For example, “Where” and “white” in line two of the first stanza. 
  • Enjambment: can be seen when the poet cuts off a line before its natural stopping point. For example, the transition between lines three and four of the first stanza. 
  • Imagery: occurs when the poet uses particularly interesting descriptions. These should evoke an image in the reader’s mind and inspire them to use their senses. For example, “Those cherries fairly do enclose / Of orient pearl a double row.” 


Detailed Analysis 

Stanza One 

There is a garden in her face

Where roses and white lilies grow;

A heav’nly paradise is that place

Wherein all pleasant fruits do flow.

There cherries grow which none may buy,

Till “Cherry ripe” themselves do cry.

In the first stanza of ‘There is a Garden in Her Face,’ the speaker begins by using the line that later came to be used as the title. This is a common practice in poetry. The speaker continues on, saying that there, “roses and white lilies grow.” Both of these flowers are commonly associated with women. They usually represent love/passion, and purity. Sometimes, the white lily is also associated with death. 

Her face, the speaker says, is a “heav’nly place.” It’s a place where “pleasant fruits do flow” as well, the speaker adds. Her face is filled with joy and beauty. The cherries, the speaker, say, “none may buy.” That is until they are perfectly ripe. There is an element of the forbidden about her. One can look, but they cannot take. It’s likely that these lines are a reference to the woman’s virginity/purity.

Stanza Two 

Those cherries fairly do enclose

Of orient pearl a double row,

Which when her lovely laughter shows,

They look like rose-buds fill’d with snow;

Yet them nor peer nor prince can buy,

Till “Cherry ripe” themselves do cry.

In the second stanza, the speaker goes on to describe how her “cherries” hold a “double row” of “orient pearl.” They contain something even more beautiful that one can’t get to. It’s in this stanza that it becomes clear that the cherries the speaker is talking about are the woman’s lips. They contain two rows of white teeth that show when she laughs her “lovely” laugh. The speaker uses a simile to say that they look like “rose-buds fill’d with snow.” 

But, no matter how friendly or rich one is, no one can “buy” attention from those lips or the ability to kiss them whenever they want. That is, until “Cherry ripe” they cry. This line, which is repeated multiple times throughout the poem, is an example of both a refrain and personification

Stanza Three 

Her eyes like angels watch them still,

Her brows like bended bows do stand,

Threat’ning with piercing frowns to kill

All that attempt with eye or hand

Those sacred cherries to come nigh,

Till “Cherry ripe” themselves do cry.

In the third stanza, the speaker goes on to describe the woman’s eyes. They are “like angels,” and her brows are like “bended bows.” They threaten to kill “all that attempt” to come near those “sacred cherries” until the woman is ready to share them. 

FAQs 

What is the tone of ‘There is a Garden in Her Face?’ 

The tone is reverent and appreciative. There is also a hint of humor in these lines as the poet uses creative metaphors and similes, as well as examples of personification to describe the woman. 

What is the purpose of ‘There is a Garden in Her Face?’

The purpose is to celebrate a woman’s beauty and unattainability. She has control over her lips and the rest of her being, and one cannot “buy” or come near the cherries that are her lips until ‘“Cherry ripe” themselves do cry.”’ 

Who is the speaker in ‘There is a Garden in Her Face?’

The speaker is someone who appreciates a woman’s beauty. They are likely a man, someone who has seen and known this woman and has had enough time to consider her beautiful features. He only looks at her surface, though, not taking the time to consider her as a full person. 

What is the meaning of ‘There is a Garden in Her Face?’

The meaning is simple. The poet is using this poem to describe a woman’s unattainability using metaphors and similes. 


Similar Poetry 

Readers who enjoyed ‘There is a Garden in Her Face’ should also consider reading some other Thomas Campion poems. For example: 

  • Now Winter Nights Enlarge’ – describes the “enlarg[ing]” of night and the shrinking of a day’s light hours.
  • Rose-Cheeked Laura’ –  describes a speaker’s idealized image of what love should be and how one woman personifies that love.

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There is a Garden in Her Face by Thomas Campion Visual Representation
About
Emma graduated from East Carolina University with a BA in English, minor in Creative Writing, BFA in Fine Art, and BA in Art Histories. Literature is one of her greatest passions which she pursues through analyzing poetry on Poem Analysis.
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