The English Renaissance era was the birthplace of many writers inspired by the artistic and cultural movement that was taking place within the 15th and 17th century. Within this period, there was a little place called the Mermaid Tavern, right in the heart of London. Here, a group of men, who would later become some of the most talked about writers from the Renaissance era, would gather around and talk about literature. This network of friends was led by the famous Ben Jonson, so it comes to no surprise the group would acquire the name Sons of Ben. During these informal meetings, these writers would discuss their views on literature, what influences them, and how they can influence each ...view middle of the document...
The poem goes:
'Why so pale and wan, fond lover?
Prithee, why so pale?—
Will, when looking well can't move her,
Looking ill prevail?
Prithee, why so pale?
Why so dull and mute, young sinner?
Prithee, why so mute?--
Will, when speaking well can't win her,
Saying nothing do't?
Prithee, why so mute?
Quit, quit, for shame! this will not move,
This cannot take her--
If of herself she will not love,
Nothing can make her:
The Devil take her!'
Briefly, this piece is about a boy who can’t win the heart and attention of a woman. The narrator is speaking in true cavalier form, telling the boy that he needs to move on. He then finishes the poem by damning the woman to hell. This particular poem follows cavalier ideas because it concentrated on the pleasures of the moment. Cavalier poets were inclined to say when they meant in clear terms, and this poem does just that. It is safe to assume that Sir John Suckling picked up this style of writing through the influential Ben Jonson.
Moreover, another cavalier poet birthed from the Sons of Ben was Robert Herrick. Herrick was a cavalier poet who was very much inspired by the phrase carpe diem, meaning ‘seize the day.’ An example of his cavalier work and his beliefs in carpe diem is illustrated in his poem To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time. The poem reads:
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying :
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.
That age is best...