Category Archives: Literature

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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Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet

Did my heart love ’til now? Forswear it, sight for I ne’er saw true beauty ’til this night! Quite possibly William Shakespeare’s most popular play, Romeo and Juliet was written between 1591-1595 and was first published in 1597: There are so many very memorable parts in the play – it’s all so endlessly quotable. At Rockledge High School, 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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Isabella in Kyd’s “The Spanish Tragedy”

Isabella is the wife of Hieronimo, the Marshal of Spain and is the mother of Horatio. This play, written by Thomas Kyd in the late 16th century, is above all a revenge play similar to Shakespeare’s tragedies in various ways due to the possibility that Shakespeare borrowed a good deal from Kyd. The play begins with the death of Andrea;… 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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“The Lost Prince – The Life & Death of Henry Stuart”

I visited the National Portrait Gallery yesterday to attend the “The Lost Prince – The Life & Death of Henry Stuart.” For those who plan on visiting, please do, but perhaps you shouldn’t read more below, as I’ve written this mainly for people who live abroad and will not be able to go to the exhibition. I was… 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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Sonnet 3 by William Shakespeare

Look in thy glass and tell the face thou viewest Now is the time that face should form another; Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest, Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother. For where is she so fair whose unear’d womb Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry? Or who is he so fond will be… 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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Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!

On this day in 1775, one of the greatest novelists in the English language, Jane Austen, was born. In celebration of the great lady’s birthday, here are some excerpts from her novels: From Sense & Sensibility: “They gave themselves up wholly to their sorrow, seeking increase of wretchedness in every reflection that could afford it, and resolved against… Read on

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Another Good Shakespeare Quote

Troilus and Cressida “The common curse of mankind, – folly and ignorance”. – (Act II, Scene III).

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Psyche and Cupid

Thomas Bulfinch (1796–1867). Age of Fable: Vols. I & II: Stories of Gods and Heroes.  1913. XI.  Cupid and Psyche A CERTAIN king and queen had three daughters. The charms of the two elder were more than common, but the beauty of the youngest was so wonderful that the poverty of language is unable to express its due praise. The fame… Read on

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Veronica Franco: The Hidden Treasure of Venezia

Andrea Zuvich 26th April 2004 In the portrait by Tintoretto entitled: “Portrait of Woman – Veronica Franco,” one can hardly mistake the soft, sensual flesh that surrounds those two intelligent-looking eyes.  The painting’s muse was indeed as intelligent and poetic as she was beautiful and fascinating. She was, arguably, the most talented of the courtesan-poets of her time,… Read on

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The End of the Love Letter?

I’m an unabashed romantic, and I’m writing this because very few people nowadays will openly admit to being romantic, as they think it makes them “uncool.” I don’t like how many relationships revolve around text speak like “ur hot, i miss u lotz.” Once upon a time, the equivalent would have been: “To my glorious Adonis-like love, whose… Read on

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Happy Birthday: Shakespeare’s 445th!

Not one writer has touched my heart and satiated my intellect as William Shakespeare has. Since I was a little girl, I have loved his sonnets, his plays, his themes, and the emotional resonance of them all. I am proud to say I’ve read the Complete Works entirely at least twice. Born in Stratford-Upon-Avon in Warwickshire, England, William… Read on

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Wise Words from Shakespeare (as usual)

Some glory in their birth, some in their skill, Some in their wealth, some in their bodies’ force. Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill, Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse, And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure, Wherein it finds a joy above the rest; All these I better in one general best.… Read on

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