The mistress, with other select poems.

London: The Nonesuch Press, 1926. 8vo. xx, 213, [3] pp., including half-title. Engraved vignette on title. Original tan buckram with calf label; an uncut and partially unopened copy. Ownership inscription on fly-leaf. Item #12090

MEMORABLE LOVE POEMS. One of a limited edition of numbered copies. The Mistress is a collection published in 1647 that quickly became the favorite love-poems of the age. In addition to the full text of The Mistress, the present work includes every poem of eminent merit, drawn from every period of Cowley’s work. Milton apparently held that Cowley, along with Spenser and Shakespeare, were the three greatest English poets. Cowley’s other works include Pindarique Odes, Pyramus and Thisbe, Poetical Blossoms, Naufragium Ioculare , and his unfinished epic on King David, Davideis. He was among the first to use the Pindaric ode form in English poetry.

Cowley (1618-67), who wrote his first poem at age 10 and was first published at 15, was known as a precocious talent. As a royalist, he left for Oxford, and then served the English court in Paris, going on Royalist missions, and carrying the Queen’s correspondence in cipher to the King. When he returned to England, he was arrested and imprisoned for a short time. He returned to Oxford where he received his medical doctorate, though he never practiced.

Price: $125.00

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