Joseph Addison
Joseph Addison was an English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

An essay is a piece of writing which is often written from an author's personal point of view. Essays can consist of a number of elements, including: literary criticism, political manifestos, learned arguments, observations of daily life, recollections, and reflections of the author. The definition...

ist, poet
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

, playwright
A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

 and politician. He was a man of letters, eldest son of Lancelot Addison
Lancelot Addison
Reverend Lancelot Addison was born at Crosby Ravensworth in Westmorland. He was educated at Queen's College, Oxford.Rev...

. His name is usually remembered alongside that of his long-standing friend, Richard Steele
Richard Steele
Sir Richard Steele was an Irish writer and politician, remembered as co-founder, with his friend Joseph Addison, of the magazine The Spectator....

, with whom he founded The Spectator
The Spectator (1711)
The Spectator was a daily publication of 1711–12, founded by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele in England after they met at Charterhouse School. Eustace Budgell, a cousin of Addison's, also contributed to the publication. Each 'paper', or 'number', was approximately 2,500 words long, and the...

Addison was born in Milston
Milston is a civil parish in Wiltshire situated approximately 12 miles north of Salisbury and is separated from neighbouring Durrington by the River Avon. The name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and means "middlemost farm/settlement". It consists of two hamlets: Milston and Brigmerston, plus some farm...

, Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

, but soon after his birth his father, Lancelot Addison, was appointed Dean of Lichfield and the Addison family moved into the cathedral close
Lichfield Cathedral
Lichfield Cathedral is situated in Lichfield, Staffordshire, England. It is the only medieval English cathedral with three spires. The Diocese of Lichfield covers all of Staffordshire, much of Shropshire and part of the Black Country and West Midlands...

. He was educated at Charterhouse School
Charterhouse School
Charterhouse School, originally The Hospital of King James and Thomas Sutton in Charterhouse, or more simply Charterhouse or House, is an English collegiate independent boarding school situated at Godalming in Surrey.Founded by Thomas Sutton in London in 1611 on the site of the old Carthusian...

, where he first met Richard Steele, and at The Queen's College, Oxford
The Queen's College, Oxford
The Queen's College, founded 1341, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Queen's is centrally situated on the High Street, and is renowned for its 18th-century architecture...


Music, the greatest good that mortals know,And all of heaven we have below.

Song for Saint Cecilia|St. Cecilia's Day (1692), st. 3

Music religious heat inspires, It wakes the soul, and lifts it high, And wings it with sublime desires, And fits it to bespeak the Deity.

Song for St. Cecilia's Day (1692), st. 4

When time itself shall be no more, And all things in confusion hurl'd, Music shall then exert it's power, And sound survive the ruins of the world: Then saints and angels shall agree In one eternal jubilee: All Heaven shall echo with their hymns divine, And God himself with pleasure see The whole creation in a chorus join.

Song for St. Cecilia's Day (1692)

Consecrate the place and day To music and Cecilia. Let no rough winds approach, nor dare Invade the hallow'd bounds, Nor rudely shake the tuneful air, Nor spoil the fleeting sounds. Nor mournful sigh nor groan be heard, But gladness dwell on every tongue; Whilst all, with voice and strings prepar'd, Keep up the loud harmonious song, And imitate the blest above, In joy, and harmony, and love.

Song for St. Cecilia's Day (1692)

On you, my lord, with anxious fear I wait,And from your judgment must expect my fate.

A Poem to His Majesty (1695), l. 21

Let echo, too, perform her part, Prolonging every note with art; And in a low expiring strain, Play all the concert o'er again.

Ode for St. Cecilia's Day (1699), st. 4

A thousand trills and quivering sounds In airy circles o'er us fly, Till, wafted by a gentle breeze, They faint and languish by degrees, And at a distance die.

Ode on St. Cecilia's Day (1699), st. 6

For wheresoe'er I turn my ravished eyes, Gay gilded scenes and shining prospects rise, Poetic fields encompass me around, And still I seem to tread on classic ground.

A Letter from Italy (1703)

When hosts of foes with foes engage, And round th' anointed hero rage, The cleaving fauchion I misguide, And turn the feather'd shaft aside.

Second Angel, in Rosamond Act III, sc. i