Biography of William Strode
Born in 1602, the only son of Philip Strode, who belonged to an old Devonshire family, he was born at Plympton, Devonshire. From an early age he showed studious tendencies and was sent to Westminster School and Oxford. While at the University he began to manifest his poetic talents,and generally distinguished himself, being elected in 1629 Public Orator. He took orders and, on Richard Corbet (q.v.) becoming Bishop of Oxford, became his chaplain. Later he was Rector of E. Bredenham, Norfolk, and of Badley, Northants, and Canon of Christ Church.
On the outbreak of the Civil War he attached himself warmly to the cause of the King. He was a High Churchman, and had a reputation as "a witty and sententious preacher, an exquisite orator, and an eminent poet." Until the recovery of his poems by Mr. B. Dobell, he had fallen into absolute oblivion. As a poet he shines most in lyrics and elegies. With much of the artificiality of his age he shows gracefulness, a feeling for the country, and occasional gleams of tenderness. His play, The Floating Island, a political allegory, was produced in 1633 and played before the Court then on a visit to Oxford, where it was a subject of complaint that it had more moralising than amusement. Mr. Dobell, edited a book of his poems (The Poetical Works of William Strode) in 1907.
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William Strode Poems
A Riddle: On A Kiss
What thing is that, nor felt nor seene Till it bee given? a present for a Queene: A fine conceite to give and take the like: The giver yet is farther for to seeke;
To His Sister
Loving Sister: every line Of your last letter was so fine With the best mettle, that the grayne Of Scrivener's pindust were but vayne:
On The Picture Of Two Dolphins In A Foun...
These dolphins twisting each on either side For joy leapt upp, and gazing there abide; And whereas other waters fish doe bring, Here from the fishes doe the waters spring,
A Translation Of The Nightingale Out Of ...
Now the declining sun 'gan downwards bend From higher heavens, and from his locks did send A milder flame, when near to Tiber's flow A lutinist allay'd his careful woe
Chloris In The Snow
I SAW fair Chloris walk alone, When feather'd rain came softly down, As Jove descending from his Tower To court her in a silver shower:
These veines are nature's nett, These cords by art are sett.
On Gray Eyes
Looke how the russet morne exceeds the night, How sleekest Jett yields to the di'monds light, So farr the glory of the gray-bright eye Out-vyes the black in lovely majesty.
On The Life Of Man
What is our life? a play of passion; Our mirth the musick of division: Our mother's wombes the tyring houses bee Where wee are drest for tyme's short comedy:
In Commendation Of Musick
When whispering straynes doe softly steale With creeping passion through the hart, And when at every touch wee feele Our pulses beate and beare a part;
On The Death Of A Twin
Where are yee now, Astrologers, that looke For petty accidents in Heavens booke? Two Twins, to whom one Influence gave breath, Differ in more than Fortune, Life and Death.
See how the Rainbow in the skie Seems gaudy through the Suns bright eye; Harke how an Eccho answere makes, Feele how a board is smooth'd with waxe,
When Orpheus Sweetly Did Complayne
When Orpheus sweetly did complayne Upon his lute with heavy strayne How his Euridice was slayne, The trees to heare
A Lover To His Mistress
Ile tell you how the Rose did first grow redde, And whence the Lilly whitenesse borrowed: You blusht, and then the Rose with redde was dight: The Lillies kissde your hands, and so came white:
Opposite To Meloncholly
Returne my joyes, and hither bring A tongue not made to speake but sing, A jolly spleene, an inward feast, A causelesse laugh without a jest,
We hugg, imprison, hang, and save,
This foe, this friend, our Lord, our slave.
While thus I hang, you threatned see
The fate of him that stealeth mee.