James Shirley (or Sherley) was an English dramatist.
He belonged to the great period of English dramatic literature, but, in Lamb's words, he "claims a place among the worthies of this period, not so much for any transcendent genius in himself, as that he was the last of a great race, all of whom spoke nearly the same language and had a set of moral feelings and notions in common." His career of play writing extended from 1625 to the suppression of stage plays by Parliament in 1642.
Shirley was born in London. He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School, London, St John's College, Oxford, and St Catharine's College, Cambridge, where he took ... more »
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James Shirley Poems
Death the Leveller
The glories of our blood and state Are shadows, not substantial things; There is no armour against Fate; Death lays his icy hand on kings:
Death's Subtle Ways
Victorious men of earth, no more Proclaim how wide your empires are; Though you bind in every shore And your triumphs reach as far
To the Painter Preparing to Draw M.M.H.
Be not too forward, painter; 'tis More for thy fame, and art, to miss All other faces, than come near The Lady, that expecteth here.
The Glories of our Blood and State
The glories of our blood and state Are shadows, not substantial things; There is no armour against fate; Death lays his icy hand on kings.
You virgins, that did late despair To keep your wealth from cruel men, Tie up in silk your careless hair: Soft peace is come again.
This Garden does not take my eyes, Though here you show how art of men Can purchase Nature at a price Would stock old Paradise again.
Two Gentlemen That Broke Their Promise
There is no faith in claret, and it shall Henceforth with me be held apocryphal. I'll trust a small-beer promise, nay, a troth Washed in the Thames, before a French wine oath.
Song of Nuns
O fly, my soul! what hangs upon Thy drooping wings, And weighs them down With love of gaudy mortal things?
The Fair Felon
In Love's name you are charged hereby To make a speedy hue and cry, After a face, who t'other day, Came and stole my heart away;
O FLY, my Soul! What hangs upon Thy drooping wings, And weighs them down With love of gaudy mortal things?
Sililoquy On Death
I have not lived After the rate to fear another world. We come from nothing into life, a time We measure with a short breath, and that often
To a Lady Upon a Looking-Glass Sent
When this crystal shall present Your beauty to your eye, Think that lovely face was meant To dress another by.
Cease, Warring Thoughts
Cease, warring thoughts, and let his brain No more discord entertain, But be smooth and calm again.
On Her Dancing
I stood and saw my Mistress dance, Silent, and with so fixed an eye, Some might suppose me in a trance:
Comments about James Shirley
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
Death the Leveller
The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against Fate;
Death lays his icy hand on kings:
Sceptre and Crown
Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crookèd scythe and spade.
Some men with swords may reap the field,
And plant fresh laurels where they kill:
But their strong nerves at last must yield;
They tame but one another still:
Early or late
They stoop to fate,
And must give up their murmuring breath
When they, pale captives, creep to death.
The garlands wither on ...