ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Sir William Davenant
, "To Sir William D'Avenant, upon his two first Books of Gondibert" Davenant, A Discourse upon Gondibert (1650) sig. A3-A3v.
Sir William Davenant:
1629: Edward Hyde
1629: William Habington
1637: John Suckling
1638: John Suckling
1638: Thomas Carew
1638: William Habington
1650: Abraham Cowley
1650: Edmund Waller
1651: Samuel Sheppard
1652: Charles Cotton
1653: Sir John Denham
1659: Thomas Pecke
1670: Richard Flecknoe
1683: John Dryden
1690: Anthony Wood
1693: Rev. Samuel Wesley
1709: Thomas Hearne
1734: Alexander Pope
1764: David Erskine Baker
1766 ca.: Samuel Pegge
1779: Rev. Vicesimus Knox
1782: William Hayley
1789: Rev. Thomas Warton
1795: Dr. Robert Anderson
1800: Dr. Nathan Drake
1814: Isaac D'Israeli
1819: William Hazlitt
1819: Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1832: John Taylor Esq.
1837: Henry Hallam
1842: C. H. Timperley
1859: David Masson
1860: George Gilfillan
1880: Edmund Gosse
1638: Sir Kenelm Digby
1650: Sir William Davenant
1664 ca.: John Evelyn
1664: Katherine Philips
Methinks Heroick Poesie, till now
Like some fantastick Fairy land did show;
Gods, Devils, Nymphs, Witches, and Giants race,
And all but man, in mans best work had place.
Thou like some worthy Knight, with sacred Arms
Dost drive the Monsters thence, and end the Charms:
In stead of those, dost Men and Manners plant,
The things which that rich soyl did chiefly want.
But even thy Mortals doe their Gods excell,
Taught by the Muse to Fight and Love so well.
By fatall hands whilst present Empires fall,
Thine from the grave past Monarchies recall.
So much more thanks from humane kinde does merit
The Poets Fury, then the Zelots Spirit.
And from the grave thou mak'st this Empire rise,
Not like some dreadfull Ghost t' affright our Eyes,
But with more beauty and triumphant state,
Then when it crown'd at proud Verona sate.
So will our God re-build Mans perish'd frame,
And raise him up much better, yet the same:
So God-like Poets doe past things rehearse,
Not change, but heighten Nature with their Verse.
With shame me thinks great Italy must see
Her Conqu'rors call'd to life again by thee;
Call'd by such powerfull Arts, that ancient Rome
May blush no less to see her Wit o'rcome.
Some men their Fancies like their Faiths derive;
And count all ill but but that which Rome does give;
The marks of Old and Catholick would finde;
To the same Chair would Truth and Fiction binde.
Thou in these beaten paths disdain'st to tread,
And scorn'st to Live by robbing of the Dead.
Since Time does all things change, thou thinkst not fit
This latter Age should see all new, but Wit.
Thy Fancy, like a Flame, her way does make;
And leaves bright tracks for following Pens to take.
Sure 'twas this noble boldness of the Muse
Did thy desire to seek new Worlds infuse;
And ne'r did Heaven so much a Voyage bless,
If thou canst Plant but there with like success.