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12-02-1567

Thomas Campion is born

On this day in 1567, poet and composer Thomas Campion is born in England. Educated at Cambridge, Campion studied law, became a physician, and became known as one of Renaissance England's most accomplished lyric poets and songwriters. Much poetry in Elizabethan England, including some of Shakespeare's, was originally set to music. Campion combined his musical talents and poetry, creating some of the most effective and fluid lyrics and songs of the period. He broke away from conventional visual imagery in favor of sound, movement, and musical metaphors. He also wrote several court masques-elaborate pageants featuring song, poetry, and spectacular sets and costumes-as well as a work of literary criticism entitled 'Observations in the Art of English Poesie', which attacked the importance of rhyme and meter. In 1972, the poet W.H. Auden edited a new volume of Campion's work, called 'The Selected Songs'