Richard Barnfield Poems

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Richard Barnfield
Richard Barnfield (1574-1627), English poet, was born at Norbury, Staffordshire, and baptized on June 13, 1574, the son of Richard Barnfield, gentleman. His obscure though close relationship with Shakespeare has long made him interesting to students. In November 1589 Barnfield matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford, and took his degree in February 1592. He performed the exercise for his masters gown, but seems to have left the university abruptly, without proceeding to the M.A. It is conjectured that he came up to London in 1593, and became acquainted with Watson, Drayton, and perhaps with Edmund Spenser. The death of Sir Philip Sidney had occurred while Barnfield was still a school-boy, but it seems to have strongly affected his imagination and to have inspired some of his earliest verses. In November 1594, in his twenty-first year, Barnfield published anonymously his first work, The Affectionate Shepherd, dedicated with familiar devotion to Penelope, Lady Rich. This was a sort of florid romance, in two books of six-line stanzas, in the manner of Lodge and Shakespeare, dealing at large with the complaint of Daphnis for the love of Ganymede. As the author expressly admitted later, it was an expansion or paraphrase of Virgil's second eclogue Formosum pastor Corydon ardebat Alexim.

look at all those monkeys
Look at all those monkeys
Jumping in their cage.
Why don't they all go out to work
An... [read poem]
English Teeth, English Teeth!
Shining in the sun
A part of British heritage
Aye, each... [read poem]
the abc
'Twas midnight in the schoolroom
And every desk was shut
When suddenly from the alphabet... [read poem]
oh! mr. malthus!
"MOTHER, Mother, here comes Malthus,
Mother, hold me tight!
Look! It's Mr. Malthus, Mother... [read poem]
the soldiers at lauro
Young are our dead
Like babies they lie
The wombs they blest once
Not healed dry... [read poem]
an ode
As it fell upon a day
In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade
Which a ... [read poem]
Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
'I'll do a sketch of thee,
What kind of pencil shall I use,
2B or not 2B?'

mirror, mirror
A young spring-tender girl
combed her joyous hair
'You are very ugly' said the mirror.... [read poem]
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