Sir William Davenant
Sir William Davenant (or D'Avenant), dramatist and theater manager, poet and courtier, is a link between the older Elizabethan and Jacobean drama and the new Restoration drama. From his innovations improving the platform stage our modern playhouse is derived; he refined the genre of the heroic drama with the accompanying themes of love and honor; by tradition he first brought women onto the English stage; and his dramas influenced those of the next several generations, particularly John Dryden's. If he is remembered only for his "adaptations" of Shakespeare we do him disservice.
Davenant was born in Oxford in late February 1606, the son of John Davenant, vinter and ... more »
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Sir William Davenant Poems
Praise And Prayer
PRAISE is devotion fit for mighty minds, The diff'ring world's agreeing sacrifice; Where Heaven divided faiths united finds: But Prayer in various discord upward flies.
THE lark now leaves his wat'ry nest, And climbing shakes his dewy wings. He takes this window for the East, And to implore your light he sings--
To A Mistress Dying
Lover. YOUR beauty, ripe and calm and fresh As eastern summers are, Must now, forsaking time and flesh, Add light to some small star.
Weep No More For What Is Past
WEEP no more for what is past, For time in motion makes such haste He hath no leisure to descry Those errors which he passeth by.
Ladies In Arms
LET us live, live! for, being dead, The pretty spots, Ribbons and knots, And the fine French dress for the head,
TIS, in good truth, a most wonderful thing (I am even ashamed to relate it) That love so many vexations should bring, And yet few have the wit to hate it.
Comments about Sir William Davenant
Praise And Prayer
PRAISE is devotion fit for mighty minds,
The diff'ring world's agreeing sacrifice;
Where Heaven divided faiths united finds:
But Prayer in various discord upward flies.
For Prayer the ocean is where diversely
Men steer their course, each to a sev'ral coast;
Where all our interests so discordant be
That half beg winds by which the rest are lost.
By Penitence when we ourselves forsake,
'Tis but in wise design on piteous Heaven;
In Praise we nobly give what God may take, ...