1690 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Philip Sidney

William Temple, in Essay on Poetry (1690); Spingarn, Critical Essays of the Seventeenth Century (1909) 3:91.



The true Spirit or Vein of antient Poetry in this Kind seems to shine most in Sir Philip Sidney, whom I esteem both the greatest Poet and the Noblest Genius of any that have left behind them and published in ours or any other modern Language, — a Person born capable not only of forming the greatest Ideas, but of leaving the noblest Examples, if the length of his Life had been equal to the excellence of his Wit and his Virtues.