1817 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Giles Fletcher

Nathan Drake, in Shakespeare and his Times (1817; 1838) 301-02.



GILES FLETCHER, the elder brother of Phineas Fletcher, was born in 1588, took the degree of bachelor of divinity at Oxford, and died at his rectory of Alderton, in Suffolk, in 1623. The production which has given him a poet's fame, was published in 1610, under the title of Christ's Victory and Triumph in Heaven and Earth over and after Death, Cambridge, 4to. It is written in stanzas of eight lines, and divided into four parts, under the appellations of Christ's Victory in Heaven, his Triumph on Earth, his Triumph over Death, and his Triumph after Death.

This is a poem which exhibits strong powers of description, and a great command of language; it is, however, occasionally sullied by conceits, and by a frequent play upon words, of which the initial stanza is a striking proof. Our author was an ardent admirer of Spenser, and has in many instances successfully imitated his picturesque mode of delineation, though he has avoids following him in the use of the prosopopeia.