Epitaph on the Lady Mary Villiers

By Thomas Carew 1595–1640 Thomas Carew
This little vault, this narrow room,
Of Love, and Beauty, is the tomb;
The dawning beam that gan to clear
Our clouded sky, lies darken'd here,
Forever set to us, by death
Sent to inflame the world beneath.
'Twas but a bud, yet did contain
More sweetness than shall spring again;
A budding star that might have grown
Into a sun, when it had blown.
This hopeful beauty did create
New life in Love's declining state;
But now his empire ends, and we
From fire and wounding darts are free;
His brand, his bow, let no man fear,
The flames, the arrows, all lie here.

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Poet Thomas Carew 1595–1640

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Living, Death

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Thomas  Carew

Biography

Thomas Carew was the poetic arbiter elegantiae of the court of Charles I. He gave one last witty spin to the tradition of Petrarchan lyric, polishing and resetting the traditional conceits of love poetry for an increasingly sophisticated and aristocratic audience. Carew penned the most notorious erotic poem of the seventeenth century, "A Rapture," as well as what is generally regarded as the most accomplished of the Caroline . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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