1656 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Drummond

Edward Phillips, "Upon the incomparable Poems of Mr. William Drummond" Drummond, Poems (1656) sig. A5-A5v.



To praise these Poems well, there doth require
The selfe-same spirit, and that sacred fire
That first inspir'd them; yet I cannot choose
But pay an admiration to a Muse
That sings such handsome things; never brake forth,
From Climes so neare the Beare, so bright a worth;
And I beleeve the Caledonian Bow'rs
Are full as pleasant, and as rich in flow'rs
As Tempe e're was fam'd, since they have nourish'd
A wit the most sublime that ever flourish'd;
There's nothing cold, or frozen, here contain'd,
Nothing that's harsh, unpolish'd, or constrain'd,
But such an ardour as creates the spring,
And throws a chearfulnesse on every thing;
Such a sweet calmnesse runs through every verse
As shews how he delighted to converse
With silence, and his Muse, among those shades
Which care, nor busie tumult, e're invades;
There would he oft, the adventures of his loves
Relate unto the Fountaines, and the groves,
In such a straine as Laura had admir'd
Her Petrarch more, had he been so inspir'd.
Some, Phoebus gives, a smooth and streaming veine,
A great and happy fancy some attaine,
Others unto a soaring height he lifts;
But here he hath so crouded all his gifts,
As if he had design'd in one to try,
To what a pitch he could bring Poetry;
For every grace should he receive a Crown,
There were not Bays enough in Helicon:
Fame courts his Verse, and with immortall wings
Hovers about his Monument, and brings
A deathlesse trophy to his memory;
Who, for such honour, would not wish to dye?
Never could any times afford a Story
Of one so match'd unto great Sidney's glory;
Or Fame so well divided, as between
Penshurst's renowned shades, and Hawthornden.