Matthew Prior Poems

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Matthew Prior
Matthew Prior (July 21, 1664 September 18, 1721) was an English poet and diplomat. Prior was the son of a Nonconformist joiner at Wimborne Minster, East Dorset. His father moved to London, and sent him to Westminster School, under Dr. Busby. On his father's death, he left school, and was cared for by his uncle, a vintner in Channel Row. Here Lord Dorset found him reading Horace, and set him to translate an ode. He did so well that the earl offered to contribute to the continuation of his education at Westminster. One of his schoolfellows and friends was Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax. It was to avoid being separated from Montagu and his brother James that Prior accepted, against his patron's wish, a scholarship recently founded at St John's College, Cambridge. He took his B.A. degree in 1686, and two years later became a fellow. In collaboration with Montagu he wrote in 1687 the City Mouse and Country Mouse, in ridicule of John Dryden's The Hind and the Panther.

the lion hunt
Mount -- mount for the hunting -- with musket and spear!
Call our friends to the field -- for t... [read poem]
I have been all men known to history,
Wondering at the world and at time passing;
I have s... [read poem]
makanna's gathering
Wake! Amakósa, wake!
And arm yourselves for war.
As coming winds the forest sha... [read poem]
thirteen blackbirds looking at a man
It is calm.
It is as though
we lived in a garden
that had not yet arrived... [read poem]
the bechuana boy
I sat at noontide in my tent,
And looked across the Desert dun,
Beneath the cloudless ... [read poem]
the bushman
The Bushman sleeps within his black-browed den,
In the lone wilderness. Around him lie
His... [read poem]
to a young poet
For the first twenty years you are still growing
Bodily that is: as a poet, of course,
You... [read poem]
the caffer commando
Hark! -- heard ye the signals of triumph afar?
'Tis our Caffer Commando returning from war:... [read poem]
the coranna
Fast by his wild resounding River
The listless Coran lingers ever;
Still drives his heifer... [read poem]
the caffer
Lo! where he crouches by the cleugh's dark side,
Eyeing the farmer's lowing herds afar;
Im... [read poem]
the kosa
The free-born Kosa still doth hold
The fields his fathers held of old;
With club and spear... [read poem]
poetry for supper
'Listen, now, verse should be as natural
As the small tuber that feeds on muck
And grows s... [read poem]
horace, lib. i, epist. ix, imitated
To the right honourable Mr. Harley

Dear Dick, how e'er it comes into his head,... [read poem]
song of the wild bushman
Let the proud White Man boast his flocks,
And fields of foodful grain;
My home is 'mid... [read poem]
the hottentot
Mild, melancholy, and sedate, he stands,
Tending another's flock upon the fields,
His fath... [read poem]
the ancients of the world
The salmon lying in the depths of Llyn Llifon
Secretly as a thought in a dark mind,
Is... [read poem]
to sir walter scott
From deserts wild and many a pathless wood
Of savage climes where I have wandered long,
Wh... [read poem]
The old man comes out on the hill
and looks down to recall earlier days
in the valley. He ... [read poem]
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