Department of English

Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University

2202242  Introduction to the Study of English Poetry



Ben Jonson



It is not growing like a tree



It is not growing like a tree

In bulk, doth make men better be;
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sear:
A lily of a day 5
Is fairer far, in May,
Although it fall and die that night,
It was the plant and flower of light.
In small proportions we just beauties see;
And in short measures life may perfect be. 10







Ben Jonson




Poem Notes

A lily of a day: Is this the day lily? See definition below.

day lily (Webster's Third 578)

n [so called from the fact that each blooms for only one day]

1 a: a plant of the genus Hemerocallis being native to Europe and Asia but cosmopolitan in cultivation and as escapes, having complex tuberous roots and long narrow basal leaves, and bearing short-lived flowers that resemble lilies and are yellow or tawny orange in the wild but under cultivation have developed pinkish and mahogany to purplish forms  b: the flower of a day lily

2: plantain lily


Reference and Further Reading



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Last updated January 29, 2008