John Abbott

(1587/1588 – c. 1650 / London, England)

To His Honored Friend, Mr. Rivers - Poem by John Abbott

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John Abbot (1587/1588 – c. 1650) was an English Roman Catholic clergyman and poet. His provenance is uncertain, he might have been from either London or Leicester, but he is believed to be the nephew both of George Abbot, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Robert Abbot, the bishop of Salisbury. Abbot was thus from a strongly Protestant family, but after being educated at Balliol College, Oxford, he travelled to the continent where he was converted to Roman Catholicism. On returning to England he was in Jesuit orders for a while, before working as a secular priest.

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Devovt Rhapsodies Our sacred Volumes are the sealed springs, / Where choicest Nymphs, as
The Fable Of Philo The Jew, Amplified. When the Angels had the ample world survaid, / And here and there in mu
Iesvs Praefigvred: Or A Poem Of The Holy Name Of Iesvs. The First Booke PRINCE OF VVALES, DVKE OF CORNEVVALL, EARLE OF CHESTER, &c. / Great Cha
Iesvs Praefigvred: Or A Poem Of The Holy Name Of Iesvs. The Second Booke The Argvment / Of Iesvs flesh (Ambrosian meate,)
Commendation: Fortescue, G.


To his honoured Friend, Mr. Rivers,

Upon his Holy Rhapsodies

VVho's this? who like the rosy-fingred Morne,
Is thus from Mountaine unto Mountaine borne:
Whose mystick locks charg'd with the drops of nights,
On us below hurle beames inrich't with lights?
Is it that soule, which having Iordan past,
Pure Iordan, made such an ambitious hast
To passe like Israel through the bloody maine,
In hope another Baptisme to obtaine?
It is the same, whose Rhapsodies unfold,
Sweet Raptures, Raptures which in cups of gold,
To us Cælestiall Constellations hold.
Would all thus Poetize, who would refuse,
To celebrate the straines of such a Muse?

George Fortescue

Commendation: Yate, J.


To his honoured Friend, Mr. Rivers,

upon his excellent Poemes, the Devout Rhapsodies

Mysterious Rivers, whose each sacred lyne,
Shewes that thy Muse is absolute Divine;
And cannot with impurity be stain'd,
Or with obsceane conceptions be prophain'd.
But in Meanders, holy turnes, and windes,
Delightfull to thine owne, and Readers mindes.
He that will give thee a deserved praise,
Must crowne thy head with groves, not boughes of bayes.

Iames Yate


Commendation: Cox, G.


To my much honoured and Candid Friend, Mr. Abbot. alias Rivers,

upon his Devout Rhapsodies

VVas thy Quill made oth' towring Eagles wing,
Who soaring in the bosome of his King,
Saw what was done in Heaven? straight thence descends,
And sings our Churches lot, and state of Fiends.
Thy Poeme speakes all these, which I reade ore,
With wonder and delight, but which was more,
I know not of these two, and dare proclaime,
Who understand it, will commend the same.
Nor doe I envy it, because 'tis thine,
Yet were vowes potent; I could wish it mine.

George Cox


Commendation: Chapperline, J.


To my worthy, and learned Friend, Mr, Rivers,

after the reading of his Religious Rhapsodies

That thou in noblest straines of Poesie;
Do'st teach the myst'ries of Theologie:
And raisest humane soules from sordid earth,
Up to that blest place, whence they take their breath.
I leave to them whose learned spirits know,
How best their knowledge, and thy praise to show.
And onely saying, I the Work admire,
Wish that all those who Christian bayes desire,
With just attention, and cleare sight would looke,
Each houre, or day, on thy sweet, mystick booke:
So they, reform'd by vertue of thy Muse,
No more shall Wit, and Poesie abuse.

Iohn Chapperline

Commendation: H. W.


To my deare Friend, Mr. Rivers,

upon his Rhapsodies

How often write I Verses? often teare
My Verses? stil imagining they were,
Unworthy thy brave Muse? begin againe:
And search in every corner of my braine?
Barraine; I bite my Pen; my servants rate,
When the fault lies not in them, but my Pate.
Shall I who have so many Verses writ,
In every Theme imployd my active wit;
And having promis'd Verses, not performe
What I have promis'd? here againe I storme,
Yet reassume my Quill: write: All men know;
That to my noble Friend I Verses owe:
Protest against my selfe, so great's the summe,
Of thy due praise, my Muse is banquerout, Dumbe.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 17, 2012



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