Biography of Richard Corbet
Was born in 1582, the son of a nurseryman at Eweli, Surrey. At Oxford, to which he proceeded from Westminster school in 1597, he was noted as a wit. On taking orders he continued to display this talent from the pulpit, and James I., in consideration of his “fine fancy and preaching,” made him one of the royal chaplains. In 1620 he became vicar of Stewkley, Berkshire, and in the same year was made dean of Christchurch, Oxford. In 1628 he was made bishop of Oxford, and in 1632 translated thence to the see of Norwich. Corbet was the author of many poems, for the most part of a lively, satirical order, his most serious production being the Fairies’ Farewell. His verses were first collected and published in 1647. His conviviality was famous, and many stories are told of his youthful merrymaking in London taverns in company with Ben Jonson, who always remained his close friend, and other dramatists. He died at Norwich on the 28th of July 1635.
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Richard Corbet Poems
The Fairies Farewell
FAREWELL, rewards and fairies, Good housewives now may say, For now foul sluts in dairies Do fare as well as they.
To His Son, Vincent Corbet
What I shall leave thee none can tell, But all shall say I wish thee well: I wish thee, Vin, before all wealth, Both bodily and ghostly health;
The Distracted Puritan
Am I mad, O noble Festus, When zeal and godly knowledge Have put me in hope
An Epitaph on Doctor Donne, Dean of St. ...
He that would write an epitaph for thee, And do it well, must first begin to be Such as thou wert; for none can truly know Thy worth, thy life, but he that hath lived so.
Aan Elegie On Dr. Ravis, Bishop of Londo...
When I past Paul's, and travell'd in that vvalke Where all our Britaine sinners svveare and talk, And then beheld the body of my Lord Trood under foote by vice that lie abhorr'd,
The Distracted Puritan
Am I mad, O noble Festus,
When zeal and godly knowledge
Have put me in hope
To deal with the Pope
As well as the best in the college?
Boldly I preach, I hate a cross, hate a surplice,
Mitres, copes, and rochets!
Come hear me pray nine times a day,
And fill your heads with crotchets.