His father, a wealthy citizen, who died shortly before his birth, was a stationer. His mother was wholly given to works of devotion, but it happened that there lay in her parlour a copy of The Faerie Queene. This became the favourite reading of her son, and he had twice devoured it all before he was sent to school.
As early as 1628, that is, in his tenth year, he composed his Tragicall History of Piramus and Thisbe, an epic romance written in a six-line stanza, a style of his own invention. It is not too much to say that this work is the most astonishing feat of imaginative precocity on record; it is marked by no great faults of immaturity, and possesses constructive merits of a ... more »
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Abraham Cowley Poems
WELL then! I now do plainly see This busy world and I shall ne'er agree. The very honey of all earthly joy Does of all meats the soonest cloy;
Life's a name That nothing here can truly claim; This wretched inn, where we scarce stay to bait, We call our dwelling-place!
The Given Heart
I wonder what those lovers mean, who say They have giv'n their hearts away. Some good kind lover tell me how; For mine is but a torment to me now.
On the Death of Mr. Crashaw
Poet and Saint! to thee alone are given The two most sacred names of earth and heaven, The hard and rarest union which can be Next that of godhead with humanity.
Beneath this gloomy shade, By Nature only for my sorrows made, I'll spend this voyce in crys, In tears I'll waste these eyes
Happy insect, what can be In happiness compared to thee? Fed with nourishment divine, The dewy morning's gentle wine!
Hymn To Light
First-born of Chaos, who so fair didst come From the old Negro's darksome womb! Which, when it saw the lovely child,
LOVE in her sunny eyes does basking play; Love walks the pleasant mazes of her hair; Love does on both her lips for ever stray
Awake, awake, my Lyre! And tell thy silent master's humble tale In sounds that may prevail; Sounds that gentle thoughts inspire:
LIBERAL Nature did dispence To all things Arms for their defence; And some she arms with sin'ewy force, And some with swiftness in the course;
A Vote (excerpt)
... This only grant me: that my means may lie Too low for envy, for contempt too high. Some honour I would have,
Davideis: A Sacred Poem Of The Troubles ...
BOOK I (excerpt) I sing the man who Judah's sceptre bore In that right hand which held the crook before; Who from best poet, best of kings did grow;
The merry waves dance up and down, and play, Sport is granted to the sea; Birds are the choristers of the empty air,
Anacreontics, The Swallow
FOOLISH prater, what dost thou So early at my window do? Cruel bird, thou'st ta'en away A dream out of my arms to-day;
Quotationsmore quotations »
''God the first garden made, and the first city Cain.''Abraham Cowley (1618-1667), British essayist, poet. The Garden, Essays in Verse and Prose (1668).
''Life is an incurable disease.''Abraham Cowley (1618-1667), British essayist, poet. To Dr. Scarborough, st. 6 (1656).
Comments about Abraham Cowley
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
WELL then! I now do plainly see
This busy world and I shall ne'er agree.
The very honey of all earthly joy
Does of all meats the soonest cloy;
And they, methinks, deserve my pity
Who for it can endure the stings,
The crowd and buzz and murmurings,
Of this great hive, the city.
Ah, yet, ere I descend to the grave
May I a small house and large garden have;
And a few friends, and many books, both true,
Both wise, and both delightful too!
And since love ne'er will from me ...