John Cleveland

(16 June 1613 – 29 April 1658 / Loughborough, England)

Biography of John Cleveland

John Cleveland poet

John Cleveland was an English poet.

The son of an usher in a charity school, Cleveland was born in Loughborough, and educated at Hinckley Grammar School. Admitted to Christ's College, Cambridge, he graduated BA in 1632 and became a fellow of St John's College in 1634. At St John's Cleveland became college tutor and lecturer on rhetoric, and was much sought after. A staunch Royalist, he opposed the election of Oliver Cromwell as member for Cambridge in the Long Parliament, and lost his college post as a result in 1645. Joining Charles I, by whom he was welcomed, he was appointed to the office of Judge Advocate at Newark. In 1646, however, he lost this office, and wandered about the country dependent on the bounty of the Royalists. In 1655 he was imprisoned at Yarmouth, but released by Cromwell, to whom he appealed, and went to London, where he lived till his death. His best work is satirical, slightly reminiscent of Hudibras; his other poems are considered mediocre. The Poems were published in 1656.

John Cleveland's Works:

Poems (1656)

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The Rebel Scot

How, Providence? and yet a Scottish crew?
Then Madam Nature wears black patches too!
What, shall our nation be in bondage thus
Unto a land that truckles under us?
Ring the bells backward! I am all on fire.
Not all the buckets in a country quire
Shall quench my rage. A poet should be feared
When angry, like a comet's flaming beard.
And where's the stoic can his wrath appease,

[Hata Bildir]