1847 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Randolph

Edward Farr, in Select Poetry, chiefly sacred, of the Reign of King James the First (1847) xxxiii.



This poet is memorable as the adopted son of Ben Jonson. His principal works, like those of his great patron, are dramatic, but he wrote miscellaneous poems, many of which are of a Christian character. Winstanley says, "he was sententiously grave," notwithstanding the festivity of his principal poems. The Eclogue printed in this volume is derived from the MS. of "Celestial Flowers," described in a previous article, to which the signature of "T. Randolph, gent." is annexed. This Eclogue has been reprinted in one or two modern collections of poetry, as in the "Poetry of the Seventeenth Century," edited by the Rev. R. Cattermole; but there is considerable variation in the textual reading of this MS. and the modern reprints. The genius and acquirements of Randolph, at an early age, held forth promises of great literary eminence, but they were frustrated by a premature death.