Line by line explanation of My Pretty Rose Tree
A flower was offered to me,
Here the ‘flower’ denotes lovely women who offered the poet her love.
Such a flower as May never bore;
The woman was so beautiful that the poet was compelled to compare her to a aesthetic flower that blooms in the month of May.
But I said “I have a pretty rose tree”-
The poet rejected her love saying that he already has a pretty wife (pretty rose tree)
And I pass the sweet flower o’er
The poet passed by the sweet and beautiful women who offered him her love.
“Then I went to my pretty Rose tree”
Then the poet went to his wife for a company
“To tend her by day and by night”
The poet sat beside her although the day and night, with sincerity and devotion.
“But my Rose turned away with jealousy”
Though the poet expressed sincere love and devotion to her wife,
Her filling of jealousy for other women made her turned away from the poet.
And her thorns were my only delight
The poet’s sincerity and fidelity meant nothing to his wife. In return he was greeted with unpleasant betrayal which was an outcome of the wife’s jealousy.
This poem reefer’s to an isolated incident in Blake’s life, thus the poem is autobiographical. Blake rejected the love of beautiful and attractive women. He told this incident to his wife. The truth though may be sincere and, It produced a filling of hostility and jealousy in wife’s heart. In this poem,” My Pretty Rose Tree” Blake ironically addresses the character of a women-
Theme of “My pretty rose tree”
Instead of responding to the love offered by a beautiful woman the poet nobly rejects only because he is married and has a wife. But when is virtuous deed is brought to the notice of his wife, she misunderstands and get offended out of sexual jealousy. The poet’s faithfulness, fidelity, and straightforwardness proved futile and he had to bear a loss. The audience witnessed how the poet’s virtuous deed remains unrewarded. Through this poem we come to understand that jealousy is often considered as characteristic feature of love, especially in women. The poet happens to be in good terms with his wife until he spoke of the incident.
We have already discussed that jealousy is a characteristic feature of love in women. The poet dismisses the love of the beautiful women saying he has got a pretty wife. His wife turns jealous upon knowing about this incident. The poet finally says “Her thorns were my only delight”. The poet knows that the hatred (out of jealousy) for him his ephemeral and he took delight on realizing the fact that his mistress is keenly jealous even on thinking about his inclination for another girl.
Additionally this poem reflects the social taboo that the poet could have undergone only had he accepted the love of beautiful women.
Blake stands as a symbol of virtue and morality…