1769 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Abraham Cowley

James Granger, in Biographical History of England (1769; 1824) 3:124.



The Poetical Blossoms of Cowley, which are an abundant proof of his talent for poetry, were generally regarded as an earnest of that fame to which he afterwards rose, and which, in the opinion of some of his contemporaries, eclipsed that of every other English poet. We are even more pleased with some of the earliest of his juvenile poems, than with many of his later performances; as there is not every where in them that redundancy of wit; and where there is, we are more inclined to admire, than be offended at it in the productions of a boy. His passion for studious retirement, which was still increasing with his years, discovered itself at thirteen, in an ode which a good judge [Joseph Warton] thinks equal to that of Pope on a similar subject, and which was written about the same era of his life. The tenderness of some of his juvenile verses shows, that he was no stranger to another passion; and it is not improbable, but Margearita, or one of her successors, might at fifteen, have had a full possession of his heart.