Richard Barnfield

(1574-1627)

Richard Barnfield
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Richard Barnfield (1574–1627) was an English poet.

Barnfield was born at Norbury, Staffordshire, and brought up in Newport, Shropshire. He was baptized on 13 June 1574, the son of Richard Barnfield, gentleman. His obscure though close relationship with William Shakespeare has long made him interesting to scholars. In November 1589 Barnfield matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford, and took his degree in February 1592. He performed the exercise for his masters gown, but seems to have left the university abruptly, without proceeding to the M.A.

It is conjectured that he came up to London in 1593, and became acquainted with Watson, Drayton, and perhaps with Edmund ... more »

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Best Poem of Richard Barnfield

To his Friend Master R. L., In Praise of Music and Poetry

If music and sweet poetry agree,
As they must needs (the sister and the brother),
Then must the love be great 'twixt thee and me,
Because thou lov'st the one, and I the other.
Dowland to thee is dear, whose heavenly touch
Upon the lute doth ravish human sense;
Spenser to me, whose deep conceit is such
As, passing all conceit, needs no defence.
Thou lov'st to hear the sweet melodious sound
That Ph{oe}bus' lute (the queen of music), makes;
And I in deep delight am chiefly drown'd
Whenas ...

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