Category Archives: Poetry

Excerpts from John Dryden’s Poetical Works

The 313th anniversary of the death of the major seventeenth-century Restoration dramatist and first Poet Laureate, John Dryden, occurred recently on the 1st of May (1700). I felt quite bad about neglecting such an event, so here’s my little homage to Dryden’s work: King David, from “Absalom and Achitophel”: In pious times, ere priestcraft did begin, Before polygamy… Read on

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Henry Vaughan (1621-1695)

Henry Vaughan was a seventeenth century poet from Wales, and he was born on the 17th of April, 1621. In honour of his birth, here is one of his poems, which I hope you will enjoy: I Walk’d the Other Day I walk’d the other day, to spend my hour,        Into a field, Where I sometimes had… Read on

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“If she be not kind” – Etherege

Happy World Poetry Day! In honour of this, I would like to share a 17th Century poem with you by Sir George Etherege: If she be not kind as fair, But peevish and unhandy. Leave her – she’s only worth the care Of some spruce jack-a-dandy. I would not have thee such an ass, Hadst thou ne’er so… Read on

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A Ballad call’d the Hay-Markett Hectors

The following excerpt is attributed to Andrew Marvell: I sing a Woofull Ditty Of a Wound that long will smart-a Given (the more’s the Pitty) In the Realme of Magna Charta: Youth! Youth! thou’dst better be slaine by thy Foes Than live to hang’d for cutting a Nose. Our good King Charles the Second Too flippant of Treasure… Read on

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“The Excuse” – Sir Walter Ralegh

I really enjoy Sir Walter Ralegh’s poetry. I don’t like that he made tobacco and potatoes popular, but that’s just me. I would like to share this one poem by him, entitled “The Excuse.” I picked up a copy of his poems from the National Portrait Gallery when I went to see the Lost Prince exhibition, and I… Read on

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17th Century Romance

Happy Valentine’s Day! This is the perfect opportunity to use John Donne’s, “The Good Morrow,” which is my favourite poem by him: “My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears, And true plain hearts do in the faces rest; Where can we find two better hemispheres Without sharp north, without declining west? Whatever dies was not mixed… Read on

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“On Poet Ninny” by John Wilmot

The following satire was written by John Wilmot, the debauched Earl of Rochester, in 1678. The following is one of the few I can put here (his naughty bits are found in Bawdy House Banter). Crushed by that just contempt his follies bring On his crazed head, the vermin fain would sting; But never satyr did so softly… Read on

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“Constancy” by Sidney Godolphin

Constancy “Love unreturned, howe’er the flame Seem great and pure, may still admit Degrees of more, and a new name And strength acceptance gives to it. Till then, by honour there’s no tie Laid on it, that it ne’er decay; The mind’s last act by constancy Ought to be sealed, and not the way. Did aught but love’s… Read on

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Literary Analysis of John Milton’s “When I Consider…”

John Milton

Known for a book that is often found in Top 100 lists — Paradise Lost — “John Milton” is a name recognised by most literature buffs. He died in poverty, blind, and in ill health: a sad end for a gifted writer. Milton (1608–1674) was a leading Parliamentarian propagandist during Interregnum/Commonweath in the 1650s, and he famously and eloquently… Read on

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A 17th Century Ode to Cleopatra of Egypt

Ah, Cleopatra, a woman who has inspired countless plays, poems, books, and films… As found in John Dunton’s “The Ladies Dictionary” of 1694: Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt: The Wealth she wore about her seem’d to hide, Not to adorn her Native Beauty’s Pride, Tho there bright Pearls from the Or’ential shoars, From all th’Assyrian Lakes, and wealthy Stores… Read on

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Poem by John Keats

WRITTEN IN DISGUST OF VULGAR SUPERSTITION The church bells toll a melancholy round, Calling the people to some other prayers, Some other gloominess, more dreadful cares, More harkening to the sermon’s horrid sound. Surely the mind of man is closely bound In some black spell; seeing that each one tears Himself from fireside joys, and Lydian airs, And… Read on

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Poem by Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822): The fountains mingle with the rivers And the rivers with the oceans, The winds of heaven mix forever With a sweet emotion; Nothing in the world is single; All things by a law divine In one spirit meet and mingle Why not I with thine? See the mountains kiss high heaven And the waves… Read on

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