The common factors that bind the cavaliers and the metaphysical poets are the following: – Their use of colloquial, conversational style, Cavaliers sometimes strives to imitate highly intellectual metaphysical conceits, – Departure from Patriarchate influence: the lady is no longer an object of desire to be admired from a far, but an actual collector, to whom the poem is addressed as an argument usually trying to induce them to exercise their sexuality (“Had we but world enough, and time, this coyness, lady, were no crime”, see Andrew Marvel, To His Coy Mistress; Although their poetry was not that innovative and original, the cavaliers made one great contribution to the English poetry: they introduced the possibility of writing memos about the minor pleasures and troubles of life. They treated the subject in such a way as to impress us with a sense of ordinary day-to-day living.Order now
Cavalier poetry gives off their enjoyment of the casual; their poems seem to be written by the way. They generally avoided the grave subjects of religion. They never dabbled in explorations of the depths and intricacies the human soul. For them life was far too enjoyable to be spending it in a study. The poem writing was no grueling task but a part of everyday living. They were ‘cavaliers’ not only because they were Royalists, but also because they ere typical gentlemen of the court: gallant lovers, soldiers with a great sense of duty (“l could not love thee (dear) so much loved I no honor more”, see Richard Lovelace, To Lucas, Going to the Wars), casual philosophers, artists, musicians, and poets.
Robert Herein (1591-1674) Although Herring, a clergyman, was detached from the court, his short, fluent, graceful lyrics, and his carper diem themes are typical of the cavalier style. He wrote a lot about the country, combining classical paganism and English folk themes. Hayrick’s character was indeed an unusual blend. He was a hedonist, a country arson, and a great lover of the ancient pagan customs, which enabled him to produce his own synthesis of classical, Christian, and English traditions which is unique in the 17th century English literature. He also wrote numerous poems, with a degree of metaphysical style, about a mistress called “Julia” (or some other classical name) in which he expressed his delight in love. See Cherry Ripe, and Gather Ye Rose Buds) In dealing with country themes such as flowers, Herring uses conceits which are neither Patriarchate nor metaphysical. He often associates the short-lived flowers with the transitiveness of human life. Thomas care (1594/5-1640) Care’s work is influenced by both Johnson and Done. His poems were occasional amatory lyrics, which were addressed to and circled among the members of the court. In combining the classical influence of Johnson and his carefully controlled style, with the metaphysical influence of Done and his introspective psychological curiosity, Care created a mixture that is representative of Cavalier poetry: polished, Joyous, witty, notable for its ease of language.
His love poems have all of the Cavalier gallantry, yet they reveal a deep cynicism at their core. Richard Lovelace (1618-58) Lovelace is the truest Cavalier. His work is gallant, courteous and chivalrous. He wrote about love, honor and war and sometimes combined the three, producing what I deem to be the best example of Cavalier poetry: To Lucas, Going to the Wars Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind, That from the nunnery Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind To war and arms I fly. True, a new mistress now I chase, The first foe in the field; And with a stronger faith embrace A sword, a horse, a shield. Yet this inconstancy is such As you too shall adore; I could not love thee (Dear) so much, Loved I not Honor more.