Those maidens gathering rosebuds? What was it that made Herrick think he had to keep urging them on? Were they afraid? Were they bored? Were they just getting tired? Rosebuds aren’t so easy to handle. Looking at a patch of them, from a distance, say, it’s easy to have illusions: bright colors, nice shapes, lovely smell. What could be bad?
And I don’t mean just the prickliness, though perhaps that ought to give some
pause. There’s also all that stooping, reaching, grabbing, and the potential for repetitive stress injury. Oh, they never think of that when they being gathering, do they?
Keep on gathering for forty of fifty years. See how that goes. And we haven’t even begun to talk about allergies. Who thinks about allergies when they begin gathering rosebuds? Gesundheit!
But fatigue — that’s the real stopper. Who would ever have thought those maidens could get tired?