Abraham Cowley

(1618 – 28 July 1667 / London)

Abraham Cowley
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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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Quotations

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  • ''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).
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Best Poem of Abraham Cowley

Life

Life's a name
That nothing here can truly claim;
This wretched inn, where we scarce stay to bait,
We call our dwelling-place!
And mighty voyages we take,
And mighty journeys seem to make,
O'er sea and land, the little point that has no space.
Because we fight and battles gain,
Some captives call, and say, 'the rest are slain';
Because we heap up yellow earth, and so
Rich, valiant, wise, and virtuous seem to grow;
Because we draw a long nobility
From hieroglyphic proofs of heraldry-
We grow at last by Custom to believe,
That really we Live;
Whilst ...

Read the full of Life

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