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A Coronet for his Mistress, Philosophy

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Muses that sing love's sensual empery,
And lovers kindling your enraged fires
At Cupid's bonfires burning in the eye,
Blown with the empty breath of vain desires;
You that prefer the painted cabinet
Before the wealthy jewels it doth store ye,
That all your joys in dying figures set,
And stain the living substance of your glory;
Abjure those joys, abhor their memory,
And let my love the honour'd subject be
Of love, and honour's complete history.
Your eyes were never yet let in to see
The majesty and riches of the mind,
But dwell in darkness; for your god is blind.

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A Coronet for his Mistress, Philosophy

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  • George Chapman has retained to this day the considerable reputation he achieved in his own lifetime. Playwright, poet, translator, he is still considered an exceptionally important figure in the English Renaissance. His plays, particularly, were adapted for the stage throughout the Restoration, and, though his reputation dipped during most of the eighteenth century, the nineteenth saw a marked revival of interest in Chapman's works, perhaps best summed up in John Keats's well-known sonnet "On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer" (1816).

    Chapman was born in Hitchin (as an allusion in Euthymiæ Raptus; or the Teares of Peace [1609] has it), a town in Hertfordshire some thirty miles from London. He was the second son of Thomas Chapman and Joan Nodes, the daughter of George and Margaret Grimeston Nodes and a cousin to Edward Grimeston the translator. Of his early life little is known except that he attended Oxford in...

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