NaPoMo Classic Poetry Day 11 – On His Mistress Drown’d by Thomas Spratt

Thomas Spratt 1635-1713

On His Mistress Drown’d

Sweet Stream, that dost with equal Pace
Both thyself fly, and thyself chace,
Forbear awhile to flow,
And listen to my Woe.
Then go, and tell the Sea that all its Brine
Is fresh compar’d to mine;
Inform it that the gentler Dame,
Who was the Life of all my Flame,
In th’Glory of her Bud
Has pass’d the fatal Flood,
Death by this only Stroke triumphs above
The greatest Power of Love:
Alas, alas! I must give o’er,
My sighs will let me add no more.
Go on, sweet Stream, and henceforth rest
More, more than does my troubled Breast;
And if my sad Complaints have made thee stay,
These Tears, these Tears shall mend thy Way

2 thoughts on “NaPoMo Classic Poetry Day 11 – On His Mistress Drown’d by Thomas Spratt

  1. Is it possible to be so calm and measured, as well as autobiographical?
    Is this the earlier form of English emotional restraint?
    Is it dallying with another’s grief?
    Is it articulating another’s grief in a the standard but timeless form ie the ideal classicism?
    We can admire the poem’s achievement, though.

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    1. I thin k it depends how much time as passed. It took me a number of years to put my emotions in words about my late wife without the poems being too raw and too emotional to meet what the classicists would call ideal. I don’t necessarily think poetry is just about expressing emotions but when it is it should be free to express all emotions that humans feel.

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