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  4. Take, Oh, Take Those Lips Away by John Fletcher
Take, Oh, Take Those Lips Away

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Take, oh, take those lips away
That so sweetly were forsworn
And those eyes, like break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn;
But my kisses bring again,
Seals of love, though sealed in vain.

Hide, oh, hide those hills of snow,
Which thy frozen bosom bears,
On whose tops the pinks that grow
Are of those that April wears;
But first set my poor heart free,
Bound in those icy chains by thee.

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Take, Oh, Take Those Lips Away

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  • John Fletcher, a highly successful playwright for the Jacobean theater, wrote more than 50 plays, both single-handedly and in collaboration with other playwrights. He was born in Rye, Sussex, the son of a minister. By 1596 his parents had died, leaving behind debts and nine children.

    John Fletcher was known for his tragicomedies, and his plays were performed at royal court. Between 1615 and 1642, approximately 40 of the plays the Kings Company performed were attributed to John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont. Their collaborations include the plays Philaster (staged 1609), A King and No King (staged 1611), and The Scornful Lady (staged 1615). Fletcher also collaborated with Shakespeare on The Two Noble Kinsmen (staged around 1613) and Henry VIII (staged 1613). Fletcher’s own work includes The Faithful Shepherdess (staged 1608), which he identified as a “pastoral tragicomedy,” and The Wild Goose Chase (staged around 1612).

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