Edmund Waller Quotes

Edmund Waller

Edmund Waller, FRS (3 March 1606 – 21 October 1687) was an English poet and politician who was Member of Parliament for various constituencies between 1624 and 1687, and one of the longest serving members of the English House of Commons. Son of a wealthy lawyer with extensive estates in Buckinghamshire, Waller first entered Parliament in 1624, although he played little part in the political struggles of the period prior to the First English Civil War in 1642. Unlike his relatives William and Hardress Waller, he was Royalist in sympathy and was accused in 1643 of organising a plot to seize London for Charles I. He allegedly escaped the death penalty by paying a large bribe, while several conspirators were executed, including his brother-in-law Nathaniel Tomkins. After his sentence was commuted to banishment, he lived in comfortable exile in France and Switzerland until allowed home in 1651 by Oliver Cromwell, a distant relative. He returned to Parliament after The Restoration in 1660 of Charles II; known as a fine and amusing orator, he held a number of minor offices. He largely retired from active politics after the death of his second wife in 1677, and died of edema in October 1687. Best remembered now for his poem "Song (Go, lovely rose)", Waller's earliest writing dates to the late 1630s, commemorating events that occurred in the 1620s, including a piece on Charles's escape from a shipwreck at Santander in 1625. Written in heroic couplets, it is one of the first examples of a form used by English poets for some two centuries; his verse was admired by John Dryden among others, while he was a close friend of Thomas Hobbes and John Evelyn. When he died, Waller was considered a major English poet, but his reputation declined over the next century, one view seeing him as a 'fairweather Royalist, an expedient Republican and mercenary bridegroom'. He is now regarded as a minor author, whose primary significance was to develop a form adapted and improved by later poets like Alexander Pope.

Source: Wikipedia


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