“FAREWELL REWARDS AND FAIRIES”: SCARCE 1648 FIRST EDITION OF BISHOP CORBET’S POETICA STROMATA
CORBET, Richard]. Poëtica Stromata. No place: no publisher, 1648. Small octavo, contemporary blind-tooled calf neatly rebacked, red morocco spine label. $3000.
First edition of the second collection of the popular poetry of Bishop Corbet, a friend and contemporary of Jonson and Donne, including the first appearance in print of his poem “The Faery’s Farewell.”
Bishop Richard Corbet "was known as a popular and witty writer during his lifetime… As a poet he associated himself with the metaphysical school which included the likes of Andrew Marvell, John Donne and Ben Jonson. There are stories of Corbet’s carousing around the taverns of London with his close friend Jonson, while both were young men. Donne was a fellow Church of England cleric, and another friend of Corbet’s, and he wrote sensual love poems and sonnets amongst other pieces of work. In comparison, Corbet’s work is often described as “doggerel”, an irregular style of writing that can often be found in songs" (My Poetic Side). While Corbet is less popular today, he was extremely popular in his era and many of his poems were memorized and recited regularly. "Published 13 years after his death [likely by Corbet's friends], this collection was preceded by a London-printed collection of the year before which contained 36 poems (including two repeats); included here are 12 of those pieces, and ten new poems, including his best-known ballad, "The Faery's Farewell." "He was generous, witty and eloquent, and his poetry ranges from the entertaining traveler's story of 'Iter Boreale' to the ironical verses on 'The Distracted Puritane"-both of which are present in this collection (Drabble, 229). Wing C6272. Grolier 198. Hayward 91. CBEL I:1306.
Title page a bit dust-soiled, a few small stains at the end; very light rubbing to contemporary calf. An extremely good copy.