Chidiock Tichborne

(c. 24 August 1562 - 20 September 1586 / Southampton, England)

Comments about Chidiock Tichborne

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  • Bryan Baker (10/18/2014 11:58:00 PM)

    No one could write this or any other poem the night before he was to be hanged, drawn, and quartered in front of a mob howling for his blood. That was Tichborne's fate and he surely would have know that that's what he was facing. It's more likely that the poem was composed sometime during a lengthy stay in prison and it was only afterwards that the more interesting story arose that the poet wrote it on the eve of his death.

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  • Wil Siddall (6/28/2013 5:05:00 PM)

    I also studied this in school around 2003/4, and its always stood out to me as a brilliant piece of poetry,
    Chidiok Tichborne was senteneced to death under the charge of treason which was sentacble to one execution method, he was hung drawn and quatered!

  • Ronald Wheeler (2/23/2012 8:14:00 PM)

    I write this fully aware that no-one will ever read it, for who has ever heard of Chideock Tichborne? I first heard of him at school in the 1940s, and it is amazing that he wrote his Elegy on the eve of his execution in the Tower of London. I am not sure what the method of execution was in the 16th century, but he was disembowelled before he was dead so it must have been grisly, but knowing his fate he remained calm enough to compose this master-piece. It makes you wonder what else he could have written had he been allowed to live.

Elegy

My prime of youth is but a frost of cares,
My feast of joy is but a dish of pain,
My crop of corn is but a field of tares,
And all my good is but vain hope of gain;
The day is past, and yet I saw no sun,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

My tale was heard and yet it was not told,
My fruit is fallen and yet my leaves are green,

[Hata Bildir]