Friday, November 16, 2012


Watkyns' Wish

Rowland Watkyns (c.1614-1664), "The Wish," in his Flamma Sine Fumo: or, Poems Without Fictions (London: Printed for William Leake, 1662), p. 63:
Hoc est summum mei, caputque voti;

A Little house, a quiet wife,
Sufficient food to nourish life,
Most perfect health, and free from harm,
Convenient cloths to keep me warm.
The liberty of foot, and mind,
And grace the ways of God to find.
This is the summe of my desire,
Until I come unto heavens quire.
On "a little house" see Two Little Houses; Klein aber Mein; Oikos Philos, Oikos Aristos; Small Houses; More on Small Houses; and Parva Domus, Magna Quies.

Watkyns describes the opposite of "a quiet wife" in his poem "The Shrew" (p. 61):
Ventus ab Aquilone:

Behold her lip, how thin it is; her nose
How sharp, her voice how shrill, which doth disclose
A froward shrew; who hath her by mishap,
Shall surely hear a constant thunder-clap:
Silence is her disease; for like a mill
Her clapper goes, and never standeth still.
By night Hobgoblins houses haunt: this sprite
Doth vex, and haunt the house both day and night.
The Rack the wheele, the Spanish Inquisition
Torments not like her tongue; A sad condition
Her husband lives in; like a coward he
Must leave the field, and always vanquisht be.
He must commend, what she doth well approve,
And disallow of what she doth not love.
We tame wild fouls, bears, lions: but no Art
To tame a shrew could any yet impart.

Eastman Johnson, Thy Word is a Lamp unto My Feet
and a Light unto My Path

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