Abraham Cowley was an English poet who lived in the 17th century and is regarded as one of the most important poets of the period, who shaped the literary discourse of his time in a profound way. Cowley started off as a literary personality quite early in life and one of his earliest influences was ‘The Faerie Queene’, an incomplete epic poem. He was without doubt a child prodigy and composed his first epic titled ‘Tragicall History of Piramus’ and ‘Thisbe’, when he was only 10 years old. One of his most important contributions to the craft of writing a poem was the introduction of six line stanzas. By the time he was only 13, he had written two more two more poems titled ‘Constantia and Philetus’ and ‘Elegy on the Death of Dudley, Lord Carlton’. He became a well-known poet even before he had attained the age of 15 and for the rest of his career he continued to produce works of further poetic sophistication. Cowley freely expressed his views, thoughts and wrote on a variety of subjects in his poems. Here is a collection of some of his famous quotes and thoughts by Abraham Cowley from his life, writings, poems and works.
I never had any other desire so strong, and so like covetousness, as that ... I might be master at last of a small house and a large garden, with very moderate conveniences joined to them, and there dedicate the remainder of my life to the culture of them and the study of nature.
The liberty of a people consists in being governed by laws which they have made themselves, under whatsoever form it be of government; the liberty of a private man, in being master of his own time and actions, as far as may consist with the laws of God and of his country.
Curs'd be that wretch (Death's factor sure) who brought Dire swords into the peaceful world, and taught Smiths (who before could only make The spade, the plough-share, and the rake) Arts, in most cruel wise Man's left to epitomize!
May I a small house and large garden have;
And a few friends,
And many books, both true.
Begin, be bold, and venture to be wise,
He who defers this work from day to day,
Does on a river's bank expecting stay,
Till the whole stream, which stopped him, should be gone,
That runs, and as it runs, for ever will run on.
Nothing in Nature's sober found,
But an eternal Health goes round.
Fill up the Bowl then, fill it high--
Fill all the Glasses there; for why
Should every Creature Drink but I?
Why, Man of Morals, tell me why?