Wotton was born in Kent, England and was educated at Winchester and New and Queens Colleges, Oxford. Whilst studying at Oxford he met John Donne, the first and greatest of the metaphysical poets, who later became a close friend. In 1595, Wotton became secretary to the Earl of Essex, collecting foreign intelligence. He became the ambassador to the court of Venice, and in later years, provost of Eton College. Whilst on a visit to Augsburg in 1604 he wrote a definition of an Ambassador which is now one of his most famous phrases; "An Ambassador is an honest man, sent to lie abroad for the good of his country." Although his works are small in number they are known for having great poise and polish and his enthusiasm for classical architecture and proportion can be seen to have a large influence on his poetry.

Poems by Sir Henry Wotton

Poet of the day

a Baltimore housewife and florist, best known as the author of the poem "Do not stand at my grave and weep," written in 1932.

She was born Mary Elizabeth Clark, and was orphaned at the age of three. In 1927 she married Claud Frye.

The identity of the author of...
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Poem of the day


My mother would be a falconress,
And I, her gay falcon treading her wrist,
would fly to bring back
from the blue of the sky to her, bleeding, a prize,
where I dream in my little hood with many bells
jangling when I'd turn my...
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