Richard Lovelace Poems

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Richard Lovelace
Richard Lovelace (16181659) was one of the Cavalier poets and a nobleman, born in Lovelace Place, Bethersden, Kent. He was the firstborn son of Sir William Lovelace, who was knighted by King James I after serving in the Low Countries and died in 1627 while fighting the Dutch at Grolle. Richard matriculated from Oxford in 1634. As Royalists, his family supported Charles I of England. Richard participated in the King's unsuccessful military expeditions to Scotland in 1639-40, and then returned to his family's estate in Kent. On April 30, 1642, on behalf of Royalists in Kent, he presented to Parliament a petition asking them to restore the Anglican bishops to the Long Parliament; he was immediately imprisoned in Westminster Gatehouse. During his sentence, he wrote "To Althea, From Prison." He was released on bail June 21, 1642, and was considered to be on parole during the civil war. He sold most of his lands and gave money to his younger brothers, Francis and Dudley, so they could raise men for the Royalist army. In 1644, Francis was one of the defenders at Caermarthen. After King Charles was captured in Oxford in 1646 and the city surrendered, Lovelace raised a regiment for the French king and served as its colonel; his brother Dudley was a captain under him. Richard was wounded at the Battle of Dunkirk (where the French were fighting the Spaniards) and left the field. When he and Dudley returned to England, they were imprisoned in October by the Commonwealth at Peterhouse Prison in Aldersgate, because of their being Royalists during the time of Oliver Cromwell. While in prison, Richard worked on a volume of poems, published after his release in April 1649 as Lucasta, considered his best collection. The "Colonel Francis" in Lucasta was his brother Francis.

the snail
Wise emblem of our politic world,
Sage snail, within thine own self curl'd;
Instruct me so... [read poem]
epitaph on charles ii
Here lies a great and mighty King,
Whose promise none relied on;
He never said a foolish t... [read poem]
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