1662 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Michael Drayton

Thomas Fuller, in History of the Worthies of England (1662) 3:126.



MICHAEL DRAYTON born in this County [Warwickshire] at Atherstone, as appeareth in his poeticall address thereunto.

My native Country
If there be vertue yet remaining in thy earth,
Or any good of thine thou breath'st into my birth,
Accept it as thine own whilst now I sing of thee;
Of all thy later Brood th' unworthiest though I be.

He was a pious Poet, his conscience having always the command of his fancy, very temperate in his life, slow of speech, and inoffensive in company. He changed his laurel for a crown of glory, Anno 1631; and is buried in Westminster-Abbey, near the South door, with this Epitaph,

Doe pious Marble, let thy Readers know,
What they and what their children owe
To Draitons name, whose sacred dust
We recommend unto thy trust.
Protect his memory, and preserve his story,
Remain a lasting Monument of his glory:
And when thy ruins shall disclaime
To be the Treasurer of his name:
His name that cannot fade, shall be
An everlasting Monument to thee.

He was born within a few miles of William Shake-speare, his Countryman and fellow-Poet; and buried within fewer paces of Jeffrey Chaucer, and Edmund Spencer.