poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

About this poet

Abraham Cowley is the author of The Mistress (1647).


Some think your commendation you deserve,
'Cause you of old Augustus did preserve.
Why did you still prolong that fatal breath, 
That banish'd Ovid, and was Tully's death? 
But I suppose that neither of 'em you, 
Nor Orator nor Poet ever knew; 
Wherefore I wonder not, you shou'd comply, 
And the Worlds Tyrant so far gratify. 
Thou truly to all Tyrants art of use, 
Their madness flies before thy pow'rful juice. 
Their heads with better wreaths, I pri'thee, crown, 
And let the World in them thy kindness own. 
At thy command forth from its scorched Heart,
Of Tyrants Love the greatest does depart. 
False Love, I mean; for thou ne'r try'st t'expel 
True Love, who, like a good King, governs well. 
Justly that Dog star, Cupid, thou do'st hate, 
Whose fire kills Herbs, and Monsters does create. 

This poem is in the pubic domain.

This poem is in the pubic domain.

Abraham Cowley

Abraham Cowley is the author of The Mistress (1647).

by this poet

It gave a piteous groan, and so it broke;
      In vain it something would have spoke:
      The love within too strong for 't was,
Like poison put into a Venice-glass.

I thought that this some remedy might prove;
      But oh, the mighty serpent Love,
      Cut by this chance in pieces small,
In all still liv'
D'ye slight me, 'cause a bog my Belly feeds, 
And I am found among a crowd of Reeds 
I'm no green vulgar Daughter of the Earth, 
But to the noble Waters owe my birth.
I was a Goddess of no mean degree;
But Love alas! deposed my Deity. 
He bad me love, and straight my kindled heart 
In Hercules's triumphs bore a
Whilst what I write I do not see,
      I dare thus, ev'n to you, write poetry.
Ah, foolish Muse! which dost so high aspire,
      And know'st her judgment well,
      How much it does thy power excel,
Yet dar'st be read by, thy just doom, the fire.

      Alas! thou think'st thyself secure,
      Because thy