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Richard Crashaw (c.1612-1649)

Richard Crashaw was the son of a staunch Puritan preacher. He was educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge from where he graduated in 1634 going on to become a fellow of Peterhouse.

After the English Civil War he became a Roman Catholic and left England for France. Introduced to the French Queen, Henrietta Maria, by his friend Abraham Cowley, another ex-Cambridge fellow who was working as her secretary, he was helped by her to obtain a position at Loreto Cathedral in Italy, where he died in 1649.

Crashaw's principal poetic work was the Steps to the Temple, a collection of religious poems published in 1646. Attached to this was a non-religious section entitled Delights of the Muses, which contains his best-known poem Wishes to his Supposed Mistress. After his death his friend, Miles Pinkney, published a more complete volume of his works, Carmen Deo Nostro.

Wishes to His Supposed Mistress
The Weeper
A Hymn to the Name and Honour of the Admirable Saint Teresa
Upon the Book and Picture of the Seraphical Saint Teresa
  Verses from the Shepherds' Hymn
Christ Crucified
An Epitaph upon Husband and Wife who died and were buried together


Four Metaphysical Poets: George Herbert, Richard Crashaw, Henry Vaughan and Andrew Marvell
A.F. Allison (Editor)

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