Phineas Fletcher Poems

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Phineas Fletcher
Fletcher, and brother of Giles the younger. He was born at Cranbrook, Kent, and was baptized on 8 April 1582. He was admitted a scholar of Eton, and in 1600 entered King's College, Cambridge. He graduated B.A. in 1604, and M.A. in 1608, and was one of the contributors to Sorrow's Joy (1603). His pastoral drama, Sicelides, or Piscatory was written (1614) for performance before James I, but only produced after the king's departure at Kings College. He had been ordained priest and before 1611 became a fellow of his college, but he left Cambridge before 1616, apparently because certain emoluments were refused him. He became chaplain to Sir Henry Willoughby, who presented him in 1621 to the rectory of Hilgay, Norfolk, where he married and spent the rest of his life. In 1627 he published Locustae, vel Pietas Jesuitica (The Locusts or Apollyonists), two parallel poems in Latin and English furiously attacking the Jesuits. Grosart saw in this work one of the sources of Milton's conception of Satan. Next year appeared an erotic poem, Brittain's Ida, with Edmund Spenser's name on the title-page. It is certainly not by Spenser, and is printed by Grosart with the works of Phineas Fletcher. Sicelides was printed in 1631. In 1632 appeared two theological prose treatises, The Way to Blessedness and Joy in Tribulation, and in 1633 his magnum opus, The Purple Island. The book was dedicated to his friend Edward Benlowes, and included his Piscatorie Eclogues and other Poetical Miscellanies. He died in 1650, his will being proved by his widow on the 13th of December of that year.

yet if his majesty our sovereign lord
Yet if his majesty our sovereign lord
Should of his own accord
Friendly himself invite,... [read poem]
aunt jennifer's tigers
Aunt Jennifer's tigers prance across a screen,
Bright topaz denizens of a world of green.
... [read poem]
the purple island
At that cave's mouth twice sixteen porters stand,
Receivers of the customary rent;
On each... [read poem]
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