Coventry Patmore

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Coventry Patmore

Coventry Kearsey Deighton Patmore (July 23, 1823November 26, 1896) was an English poet and critic.


The Angel In The House (1854)[edit]

  • Ah, wasteful woman, she who may
    On her sweet self set her own price,
    Knowing man cannot choose but pay,
    How has she cheapen'd paradise;
    How given for nought her priceless gift,
    How spoil'd the bread and spill'd the wine,
    Which, spent with due, respective thrift,
    Had made brutes men, and men divine.
    • Book I, Canto III, III Unthrift.
  • Kind souls, you wonder why, love you,
    When you, you wonder why, love none.
    We love, Fool, for the good we do,
    Not that which unto us is done!
    • Book I, Canto VI, IV A Riddle Solved.
  • Love wakes men, once a lifetime each;
    They lift their heavy lids, and look;
    And, lo, what one sweet page can teach,
    They read with joy, then shut the book.
    • Book I, Canto VIII, II The Revelation.
  • I drew my bride, beneath the moon,
    Across my threshold; happy hour!
    But, ah, the walk that afternoon
    We saw the water-flags in flower!
    • Book I, Canto VIII, III The Spirit's Epochs.
  • "I saw you take his kiss!" "'Tis true."
    "O, modesty!" "'Twas strictly kept:
    He thought me asleep; at least, I knew
    He thought I thought he thought I slept."
    • Book II, Canto VIII, III The Kiss.
  • A woman is a foreign land.
    • Book II. Canto IX, II The Foreign Land.

The Unknown Eros and Other Poems (1877)[edit]

  • The sunshine dreaming upon Salmon’s height
    Is not so sweet and white
    As the most heretofore sin-spotted Soul
    That darts to its delight
    Straight from the absolution of a faithful fight.
    • Peace, p. 28.
  • Life is not life at all without delight.
    • Victory in Defeat, p. 36.
  • To have nought
    Is to have all things without care or thought!
    • Legem Tuam Dilexi, p. 47.
  • Having my law the seventh time disobey'd,
    I struck him, and dismiss'd
    With hard words and unkiss'd,
    —His Mother, who was patient, being dead.
    • The Toys, p. 50.
  • For want of me the world’s course will not fail;
    When all its work is done the lie shall rot;
    The truth is great and shall prevail
    When none cares whether it prevail or not.
    • Magna est Veritas, p. 62.
  • None thrives for long upon the happiest dream.
    • Tired Memory, p. 95.
  • The flower of olden sanctities.
    • 1867, p. 123.

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