George Gascoigne

(1535 – 7 October 1577 / Cardington, Bedfordshire)

George Gascoigne
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George Gascoigne was an English poet, soldier, artist, and unsuccessful courtier. He is considered the most important poet of the early Elizabethan era, following Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey and leading to the emergence of Philip Sidney. He was the first poet to deify Queen Elizabeth I, in effect establishing her cult as a virgin goddess married to her kingdom and subjects. His most noted works include A Discourse of the Adventures of Master FJ (1573), an account of courtly sexual intrigue and one of the earliest English prose fictions; The Supposes, (performed in 1566, printed in 1573), an early translation of Ariosto and the first comedy written in English prose, ... more »

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Best Poem of George Gascoigne

And If I Did, What Then?

1 'And if I did, what then?
2 Are you aggriev'd therefore?
3 The sea hath fish for every man,
4 And what would you have more?'

5 Thus did my mistress once,
6 Amaze my mind with doubt;
7 And popp'd a question for the nonce
8 To beat my brains about.

9 Whereto I thus replied:
10 'Each fisherman can wish
11 That all the seas at every tide
12 Were his alone to fish.

13 'And so did I (in vain)
14 But since it may not be,
15 Let such fish there as find the gain,
16 And leave the loss ...

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