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Monday, April 2, 2012

Richard Lovelace and the Cavalier Poets

Over at Hoydens and Firebrands  this week I am writing about the most romantic of the cavalier poets, Richard Lovelace.

Richard gave everything, including his life, to the King's cause. I wonder how different it would have been for him if there had been no war and he had lived out his days on his estates in Kent, scribbling turgid, romantic verse that would have long since been forgotten. Sadly he is remembered for the tragedy of his life that allowed him to pen these beautiful verses:

To Lucasta, Going To The Wars

Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,

The first foe in the field;

And with a stronger faith embrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such

As you too shall adore;

I could not love thee (Dear) so much,
Lov'd I not Honour more. 

And this beautiful version of To Althea from Prison by Fairport Convention.

Post Script:  Elements of Richard Lovelace were written into the character of Kit's friend, Fitzjames, in The King's Man.