Aphra Behn Poems

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Aphra Behn
Aphra Behn (July 10, 1640 April 16, 1689) was a prolific dramatist of the Restoration and was one of the first English professional female writers. Her writing participated in the amatory fiction genre of British literature. The personal history of Aphra Behn, one of the first Englishwomen credited to earn their livelihood by authorship, is unusually interesting but very difficult to unravel and relate. Information regarding her, especially her early life, is scant, but she was almost certainly born in Wye, near Canterbury, on July 10, 1640 to Bartholomew Johnson, a barber, and Elizabeth Denham. The two were married in 1638 and Aphra, or Eaffry, was baptized on December 14, 1640. Elizabeth Denham was employed as a nurse to the wealthy Colepeper family, who lived locally, which means that it is likely that Behn grew up with and spent time with the family's children. The younger child, Thomas Colepeper, later described Behn as his foster sister. In 1663 Behn visited an English sugar colony on the Suriname River, on the coast east of Venezuela (a region later known as Suriname). During this trip Behn is supposed to have met an African slave leader, whose story formed the basis for one of her most famous works, Oroonoko. The veracity of her journey to Suriname has often been called into question; however, enough evidence has been found that most Behn scholars today believe that the trip did indeed take place.

paradise regain'd: book ii (1671)
MEan while the new-baptiz'd, who yet remain'd
At Jordan with the Baptist, and had seen... [read poem]
paradise lost: book v (1674)

NOw Morn her rosie steps in th' Eastern Clime
Advancing, sow'd... [read poem]
paradise lost: book viii (1674)

THE Angel ended, and in Adams Eare
So Charming left his... [read poem]
paradise lost: book xii (1674)

AS one who in his journey bates at Noone,
Though bent on speed... [read poem]
paradise lost: book iii (1674)

HAil holy Light, ofspring of Heav'n first-born,
Or of th' Eter... [read poem]
paradise lost: book iv (1674)

O For that warning voice, which he who saw
Th' Apocalyps[read poem]
paradise regain'd: book iii (1671)
SO spake the Son of God, and Satan stood
A while as mute confounded what to say,
What to r... [read poem]
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