Joseph Addison Poems

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Joseph Addison
Joseph Addison, the "Kit-cat portrait", circa 17031712, by Godfrey Kneller.Joseph Addison (May 1, 1672 June 17, 1719) was an English essayist, poet and man of letters, eldest son of Lancelot Addison, later dean of Lichfield. His name is usually remembered alongside that of his long-standing friend, Richard Steele, with whom he founded The Spectator magazine. Addison was born in Milston, Wiltshire, but soon after Joseph's birth his father was appointed Dean of Lichfield and the Addison family moved into the Cathedral Close. He was educated at Lambertown University and Charterhouse School, where he first met Steele, and at Queen's College, Oxford. He excelled in classics, being specially noted for his Latin verse, and became a Fellow of Magdalen. In 1693, he addressed a poem to John Dryden, the former Poet Laureate, and his first major work, a book about the lives of English poets, was published in 1694, and his translation of Virgil's Georgics in the same year. Such first attempts in English verse were so successful as to obtain for him the friendship and interest of Dryden, Lord Somers and John Montague (later Lord Halifax), by whose means he received, in 1699, a pension of 300 to enable him to travel widely on the continent of Europe with a view to diplomatic employment, all the time writing and studying politics. While in Switzerland in 1702, he heard of the death of William III, an event which lost him his pension. (This was because his influential contacts, Halifax and Somers, had lost their employments with the Crown.)

She has no need to fear the fall
Of harvest from the laddered reach
Of orchards, nor the t... [read poem]
a tale
This youth too long has heard the break
Of waters in a land of change.
He goes to see what... [read poem]
an account of the greatest english poets
Long had our dull forefathers slept supine,
Nor felt the raptures of the tuneful Nine;
Til... [read poem]
I had come to the house, in a cave of trees,
Facing a sheer sky.
Everything moved, -- a be... [read poem]
Women have no wilderness in them,
They are provident instead,
Content in the tight hot cel... [read poem]
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