- Jonathan F. S. Post
‘A Lover’s Complaint and “The Phoenix and Turtle” ’ considers two poems that are, in many ways, outliers among Shakespeare’s poems and fascinating for being so. A Lover’s Complaint was originally published at the end of the 1609 edition of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. It narrates the story of a forlorn maid, who was seduced by an experienced courtly wooer and left abandoned on a country hillside. ‘The Phoenix and Turtle’ first appeared in 1601. It was part of an obscure work, Love’s Martyr, like its title page, a lengthy, rambling poem ‘allegorically shadowing the truth of love in the constant fate of the Phoenix and Turtle’ by a little-known poet, Robert Chester.