1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Robert Herrick

Thomas Campbell, in Specimens of the British Poets (1819; 1845) 231.



HERRICK'S vein of poetry is very irregular; but where the ore is pure, it is of high value. His song beginning, "Gather ye rose-buds, while ye may," is sweetly Anacreontic. Nichols, in his History of Leicestershire, has given the fullest account of his history hitherto published, and reprinted many of his poems, which illustrate his family connections. He was the son of an eminent goldsmith in Cheapside, was born in London, and educated at Cambridge. Being patronized by the Earl of Exeter, he was, in 1629, presented by Charles I. to the vicarage of Dean Prior, in Devonshire, from which he was ejected during the civil war, and then having assumed the habit of a layman, resided in Westminster. After the Restoration he was replaced in his vicarage. To his Hesperides, or Works Human and Divine, he added some pieces on religious subjects, where his volatile genius was not in her element.