Abraham Cowley – (“The Wish”)

Abraham Cowley (1618-1667)

AG:  Now, next we get to (Abraham)  Cowley , below, (page) three-sixty, And the reason Cowley gets interesting is , finally, for the first time, the horrific City. enters in (as it will get increasingly, prophetically, apparent entering into the poetry.. (William) Blake will, pretty soon, (be) talking about.the opening (of the) streets of London and the “satanic mills”, and it’ll go on to the twentieth-century with “Moloch whose cities are…”  ” filled up with plutonian factories drizzling in the toilet!”) –  So here in “The Wish”, the vision the horror in the city, the hive, and at the same time a desire to go back to the garden, or to the country, get back to the country, you know,  getting back to the country to a woodshed back in Oklahoma, or Windsor, or wherever – 1618 already – So it’s already the seventeenth-century that the city is beginning to show its fangs .I don’t know if I want to read through this whole thing, but I suggest you do. It’s called “The Wish”, but we’ll begin:

“Well then! I now do plainly see/This busy world and I shall ne’er agree/The very honey of all earthly joy/Does of all meats the soonest cloy:/And they, methinks, deserve my pity/Who for it can endure the stings/The crowd, and buzz, and murmurings,/Of this great hive the city.” –  (He’s already comparing it to the android insects in the insects hive) – “Ah,  yet, ere I descend to the grave/May I a small house and a large garden have:/And a few friends, and many books, both true,/Both wise and both delightful too/ And since.. ” – (well, and so forth)… – “O fountains! when shall I/Myself eased of unpeaeful thoughts espy?/O fields! O woods! when shall I be made/The happy tenant of your shade.. – (So, and then, at the end, however, he gets a little worried..) -“How happy here  should I/And one dear, She live and embracing die!/She who is all the world, and can exclude/In deserts solitude/ I should have then this only fear,/Lest men when they my pleasures see,/Should hither throng to live like me,/ And so make a city here”. –  (Well, that happened in this century – in Boulder, as an example – (“and so make a city here”, we’re already there!)) – I just thought, well, yes, we’ll have Cowley’s little comment on the city, because that will reflect further on Andrew Marvell‘s great poem of the century “The Garden”, which we’ll get to in a few mInutes after we go through another.. fop, another charmer, another rich cutie-pie – Richard Lovelace.

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately thirty-seven-and-a-half minutes in  and concluding approximately  forty-and-three-quarter  minutes in]

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