Lord John Wilmot
Biography of Lord John Wilmot
Wilmot was born at Ditchley in Oxfordshire, England. He was the son of a Cavalier hero and his deeply religious wife. By the age of eighteen he had already been involved in a number of affairs, one of which resulted in the birth of an illegitimate daughter. In 1665 he kidnapped the much sought after heiress Elizabeth Malet, whom he later married. His rakish lifestyle and wit earned him the favour of Charles II and he remained a favourite of the king even though he was banished from the court on a number of occasions.
Wilmot's poetry often expresses a feeling of disgust at the futile nature of his life, a life he seemed to repent for during its last year, whilst being cared for by the rising Anglican Bishop, Gilbert Burnet. Wilmot's work gives great insight into the over-indulgent lifestyles led in the court of Charles II and he writes more frankly about sex than any previous writers in the seventeenth century. He influenced and was admired by a large number of poets including John Dryden, Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope. He was also known to be a great patron of writers, if a little unpredictable with his support.
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia Lord John Wilmot; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.
Lord John Wilmot Poems
Love And Life
All my past life is mine no more, The flying hours are gone, Like transitory dreams giv'n o'er, Whose images are kept in store
A Song Of A Young Lady To Her Ancient Lo...
Ancient Person, for whom I All the flattering youth defy, Long be it e'er thou grow old, Aching, shaking, crazy cold;
Give Me Leave To Rail At You
Give me leave to rail at you, - I ask nothing but my due: To call you false, and then to say You shall not keep my heart a day.
To This Moment A Rebel
To this moment a rebel I throw down my arms, Great Love, at first sight of Olinda's bright charms. Make proud and secure by such forces as these, You may now play the tyrant as soon as you please.
Absent Of Thee I Languish Still
Absent from thee I languish still; Then ask me not, when I return? The straying fool 'twill plainly kill To wish all day, all night to mourn.
I Cannot Change, As Others Do
I cannot change, as others do, Though you unjustly scorn; Since that poor swain that sighs for you, For you alone was born.
A Satyre Against Mankind
Were I - who to my cost already am One of those strange, prodigious creatures, man - A spirit free to choose for my own share What sort of flesh and blood I pleased to wear,
Nothing, thou elder brother even to shade, That hadst a being ere the world was made, And (well fixed) art alone of ending not afraid. Ere time and place were, time and place were not,
The Disabled Debauchee
As some brave admiral, in former war, Deprived of force, but pressed with courage still, Two rival fleets appearing from afar, Crawls to the top of an adjacent hill;
You ladies of merry England Who have been to kiss the Duchess's hand, Pray, did you not lately observe in the show A noble Italian called Signior Dildo?
The Platonic Lady
I could love thee till I die, Would'st thou love me modestly, And ne'er press, whilst I live, For more than willingly I would give:
Epitaph On Charles Ii
Poems To Mulgrave And Scroope
Deare Friend. I heare this Towne does soe abound, With sawcy Censurers, that faults are found,
Were I (who to my cost already am One of those strange prodigious Creatures Man) A Spirit free, to choose for my own share, What Case of Flesh, and Blood, I pleas'd to weare,
Epitaph On Charles Ii
Here lies a great and mighty King,
Whose promise none relied on;
He never said a foolish thing,
Nor ever did a wise one.