The Dewdrop | Eliza Cook

Eliza Cook (24 December 1818 – 23 September 1889) was an English author and poet associated with the Chartist movement. She was a proponent of political freedom for women, and believed in the ideology of self-improvement through education, something she called “levelling up.” This made her hugely popular with the working class public in both England and America.

This poem was printed in Reynolds’s Miscellany in 1849.[1]

The sky hath its star, the deep mine has its gems

And the beautiful pearl lights the sea;

But the surface of earth holds a rival for them,

And a lustre more brilliant for me.

I know of a drop where the diamond now shines,

Now the blue of the sapphire it gives;

It trembles, it changes, the azure resigns,

And the tint of the ruby now lives:

Anon the deep emerald dwells in its gleam,

‘Till the breath of the south wind goes by;

When it quivers again, and the flash of its beam,

Pours the topaz flame swift on the eye.

Look, look on yon grass blade all freshly impearl’d,

There are all of your jewels in one;

You’ll find every wealth-purchas’d gem in the world,

In the dewdrop that’s kissed by the sun.

Apollo’s own circlet is matchless they say,

Juno envies its sparkles and light;

For ‘tis formed of drops lit by its own burning ray,

And Olympus shows nothing so bright.

[1] Eliza Cook, ‘The Dewdrop’, Reynolds’s Miscellany, 10 November 1849, 255.