1847 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Drummond

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



William Drummond of Hawthornden united in an eminent degree the characters of poet and historian. He wrote the history of Scotland during the reigns of the five first Jameses, and also poems, consisting of Sonnets, Epigrams, Epitaphs, and some large pieces, of which many are on moral and sacred subjects. His sonnets rank among the most perfect specimens of this kind of composition; and in all his sacred poetry there is a genuine poetical feeling, and a natural sweetness and simplicity exhibited, which charm the reader. But Jonson, the contemporary of Drummond, said that his verses "smelled of the schooles," but they were generally the schools of Nature. Drummond's poems first appeared in 1616; but the most perfect edition of his "Flowers of Sion" was published in 1623.