Eliza Cook Poems

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Eliza Cook
Eliza Cook (24 December 1818 - 23 September 1889) was an English author born in Southwark, the daughter of a local tradesman. She attended the local Sunday Schools and was encouraged by the son of the music master to produce her first volume of poetry. From this she took confidence and in 1837 began to offer verse to the radical Weekly Dispatch, then edited by William Johnson Fox. She was a staple of its pages for the next ten years. She also offered material to The Literary Gazette, Metropolitan Magazine and New Monthly. Her work for the Dispatch and New Monthly was later pirated by George Julian Harney, the Chartist, for the Northern Star. Familiar with the London Chartist movement, in its various sects, she followed many of the older radicals in disagreeing with the O'Brienites and O'Connorites in their disregard for repeal of the Corn Laws. She also preferred the older radicals' path of friendly societies and self-education. In 1838 she published Melaia and other Poems, and from 1849 to 1854 wrote, edited, and published Eliza Cook's Journal, a weekly periodical she described as one of "utility and amusement." Cook also published Jottings from my Journal (1860), and New Echoes (1864); and in 1863 she was given a civil list pension of 100 a year. Her poem The Old Armchair (1838) made hers a household name for a generation, both in England and in America. Cook was a proponent of political and sexual freedom for women, and believed in the ideology of self-improvement through education, something she called "levelling up." This made her great favourite with the working-class public. Her works became a staple of anthologies throughout the century. She died in Wimbledon.

how did you die?
Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or ... [read poem]
don't tell the world that you're waiting for me
THREE summers have gone since the first time we met, love,
And still 'tis in vain that I as... [read poem]
a courtin' call

He dressed hisself from top ter toe
To beat the lates' fash'n.
He giv... [read poem]
requiescat in pace
The man who fears to go his way alone,
But follows where the greater number tread,
Sho... [read poem]
To deftly do what many dimly think;
To fund a feeling for the world to borrow;
To turn... [read poem]
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