Poet and essayist Abraham Cowley was born in London, England, in 1618. He displayed early talent as a poet, publishing his first collection of poetry, Poetical Blossoms (1633), at the age of 15. Cowley studied at Cambridge University but was stripped of his Cambridge fellowship during the English Civil War and expelled for refusing to sign the Solemn League and Covenant of 1644. In turn, he accompanied Queen Henrietta Maria to France, where he spent 12 years in exile serving as her secretary. During this time, Cowley completed The Mistress (1647). Arguably his most famous work, the collection exemplifies Cowley’s metaphysical style of love poetry. After the Restoration, Cowley returned to England, where he was reinstated as a Cambridge fellow and earned his MD before finally retiring to the English countryside. He is buried at Westminster Abbey alongside Geoffrey Chaucer and Edmund Spenser.
Poems by Abraham Cowley
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