Richard Lovelace

(1618-1657 / London / England)

Richard Lovelace
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English poet, born at Woolwich (southeast London) in 1618. He was a scion of a Kentish family, and inherited a tradition of military distinction, maintained by successive generations from the time of King Edward III. His father, Sir William Lovelace, had served in the Low Countries, received the honor of knighthood from King James I, and was killed at Grolle in 1628. His brother, Francis Lovelace, the "Colonel Francis" of Lucasta, served on the side of King Charles I, and defended Caermarthen in 1644. His mother's family was legal; her grandfather had been chief baron of the exchequer. Richard was educated at the Charterhouse and at Gloucester Hall, Oxford, where he matriculated in... more »

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Best Poem of Richard Lovelace

The Scrutiny

Why should you swear I am forsworn,
Since thine I vowed to be?
Lady, it is already morn,
And 'twas last night I swore to thee
That fond impossibility.

Have I not loved thee much and long,
A tedious twelve hours' space?
I must all other beauties wrong,
And rob thee of a new embrace,
Could I still dote upon thy face.

Not but all joy in thy brown hair
By others may be found;—
But I must search the black and fair,
Like skilful mineralists that sound
For treasure in unploughed-up ground.

Then if, when I have loved my round,
Thou ...

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