Sir John Suckling

(1606-1642)

Biography of Sir John Suckling

Sir John Suckling poet

Born to an old and wealthy Norfolk family, Suckling was educated at Westminster School, Trinity College Cambridge and Grays Inn.

He inherited the family wealth at 18 and pursued a military and ambassadorial career overseas which saw him knighted in 1830. He returned to the English court in 1632 where through his wealth and charm he was known as an elegant and popular gallant and gamester, credited with having invented the game of cribbage. Like the other cavalier poets he scorned the sonnet and the sentimentality of love poetry, writing lyrics with short lines displaying an urbane, graceful and somewhat cynical wit. He won dramatic acclaim with his performances of Aglaura but much of his work was published only after his death.

A leader of the royalists he accompanied Charles I to defeat in Scotland in 1639, and was ridiculed for his troop's bright costumes and poor performance in battle. Two years later he was involved in a plot to rescue the Earl of Stafford from the Tower of London, and had to flee to Paris to escape arrest. Here he is rumoured to have committed suicide by poison within the year.

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Love Turned to Hatred

I will not love one minute more, I swear!
No, not a minute! Not a sigh or tear
Thou gett'st from me, or one kind look again,
Though thou shouldst court me to 't, and wouldst begin.
I will not think of thee but as men do
Of debts and sins; and then I'll curse thee too.
For thy sake woman shall be now to me
Less welcome than at midnight ghosts shall be.
I'll hate so perfectly that it shall be

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