Poetry of the 17th Century
- Baroque Poetry is known as an elaborate style embellished with complicated metaphors. The word baroque is Portuguese for imperfectly formed pearl. English poet Richard Crashaw, 17th century.
Upon the Book and Picture of Sacrificial Saint Teresa by Richard Crashaw
O THOU undaunted daughter of desires!
By all thy dower of lights and fires;
By all the eagle in thee, all the dove;
By all thy lives and deaths of love;
By thy large draughts of intellectual day,
And by thy thirsts of love more large than they;
By all thy brim-fill'd bowls of fierce desire,
By thy last morning's draught of liquid fire;
By the full kingdom of that final kiss
That seized thy parting soul, and seal'd thee His;
By all the Heav'n thou hast in Him
(Fair sister of the seraphim!);
By all of Him we have in thee;
Leave nothing of myself in me.
Let me so read thy life, that I
Unto all life of mine may die!
- The Cavalier Poets were 17th century English poets associated with the royal court of the King Charles I. Some of the elements of their works are refined language, light hearted tones, direct language and clear images. The poems were royalist, secular and sometimes nostalgic. Some Cavalier poets were Ben Jonson, Robert Herrick, Richard Lovelace and Sir John Suckling.
To Lucasta on Going to Sea by Richard Lovelace
IF to be absent were to be
Away from thee;
Or that when I am gone
You or I were alone;
Then, my Lucasta, might I crave
Pity from blustering wind or swallowing wave.
But I'll not sigh one blast or gale
To swell my sail,
Or pay a tear to 'suage
The foaming blue god's rage;
For whether he will let me pass
Or no, I'm still as happy as I was.
Though seas and land betwixt us both,
Our faith and troth,
Like separated souls,
All time and space controls:
Above the highest sphere we meet
Unseen, unknown; and greet as Angels greet. So then we do anticipate
And are alive i' the skies,
If thus our lips and eyes
Can speak like spirits unconfined
In Heaven, their earthy bodies left behind.
- Jacobite Poets refers to poets during the reign of James I (1603-1625). John Donne, Michael Drayton, Ben Jonson and even Shakespeare although he is better known as an Elizabethan Poet.
Sonnet III Taking My Pen by Michael Drayton
Taking my pen, with words to cast my woe,
Duly to count the sum of all my cares,
I find my griefs innumerable grow,
The reckonings rise to millions of despairs;
And thus dividing of my fatal hours,
The payments of my love I read and cross,
Subtracting, set my sweets unto my sours,
My joy's arrearage leads me to my loss;
And thus mine eye's a debtor to thine eye,
Which by extortion gaineth all their looks;
My heart hath paid such grievous usury
That all their wealth lies in thy beauty's books,
And all is thine which hath been due to me,
And I a bankrupt, quite undone by thee.
- Metaphysical Poetry is a movement from 17th century England, emotional poetry using simple or common language and unconventional, sometimes shocking imagery. Recognized as intellectual, psychological, often unconventional and bold. John Donn> and George Herbert are probably the best known of the Metaphysical poets.
Sonnet, Death Be Not Proud by John Donne
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou are not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou'art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy'or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
- Neoclassic Poetry is from 17th-18th century England overlapping with Augustan poetry, that tended to be satirical and didactic. The movement originated by Ben Jonson and included Alexander Pope, John Dryden, Robert Herrick and Thomas Gray deliberately imitated the classic poetry of Greek and Roman poets and was crafted with a formal correctness with elegant restraint. It tended to view poetry as a honed craft rather than an expression of the soul. The world was described in terms of a strictly ordered heirarchy which neoclassics called The Great Chain of Being.
Essay on Critisism by Alexander Pope
But most by Numbers judge a Poet's song;
And smooth or rough, with them, is right or wrong:
In the bright Muse tho' thousand charms conspire,
Her voice is all these tuneful fools admire;
Who haunt Parnassus but to please their ear,
Not mend their minds; as some to church repair,
Not for the doctrine but the music there.
These equal syllables alone require,
Tho' oft the ear the open vowels tire;
While expletives their feeble aid do join;
And ten low words oft creep in one dull line:
While they ring round the same unvary'd chimes,
With sure returns of still expected rhymes;
Where'er you find "the cooling western breeze,"
In the next line it "whispers through the trees"
If crystal streams "with pleasing murmurs creep"
The reader's threaten'd (not in vain) with "sleep":
Then, at the last and only couplet fraught
With some unmeaning thing they call a thought,
A needless Alexandrine ends the song
That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along.
- Tribe of Ben were 17th century poets who admired and emulated Ben Jonson. Some of the poets were Robert Herrick, Carew, Lovelace and Suckling.
The Hag by Robert Herrick
The Hag is astride,
This night for to ride;
The Devill and shee together:
Through thick, and through thin,
Now out, and then in,
Though ne'r so foule be the weather.
A Thorn or a Burr
She takes for a Spurre:
With a lash of a Bramble she rides now,
Through Brakes and through Bryars,
O're Ditches, and Mires,
She follows the Spirit that guides now.
No Beast, for his food,
Dares now range the wood;
But husht in his laire he lies lurking:
While mischiefs, by these,
On Land and on Seas,
At noone of Night are working,
The storme will arise,
And trouble the skies;
This night, and more for the wonder,
The ghost from the Tomb
Affrighted shall come,
Cal'd out by the clap of the Thunder.