Ingrateful Beauty Threatened

By Thomas Carew 1595–1640 Thomas Carew
Know Celia, since thou art so proud,
         'Twas I that gave thee thy renown;
Thou hadst, in the forgotten crowd
         Of common beauties, liv'd unknown,
Had not my verse exhal'd thy name,
And with it imp'd the wings of fame.

That killing power is none of thine,
         I gave it to thy voice, and eyes;
Thy sweets, thy graces, all are mine;
         Thou art my star, shin'st in my skies;
Then dart not from thy borrow'd sphere
Lightning on him that fix'd thee there.

Tempt me with such affrights no more,
         Lest what I made, I uncreate;
Let fools thy mystic forms adore,
         I'll know thee in thy mortal state;
Wise poets that wrapp'd Truth in tales,
Knew her themselves, through all her veils.

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Poet Thomas Carew 1595–1640

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Love, Relationships, Break-ups & Vexed Love

 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 Love, Relationships, Break-ups & Vexed Love

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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