Francis Quarles

Richard Cattermole, in Sacred Poetry of the Seventeenth Century (1836) 1:189.

The chief poems of Quarles are, the "Scripture Histories of Sampson, Job, Esther, and Jonah;" "Emblems;" the "School of the Heart;" "Sion's Elegies;" and "Hieroglyphics of the Life of Man;" of which, the "Emblems" alone continued to retain some degree of popular esteem within the memory of the existing generation. Quarles was a writer of extensive learning, a lively fancy, and profound piety. His style, everywhere devoid of polish, presents nevertheless some of the best specimens of manly and vigorous versification to be found among our poets of the second order; but is debased by vulgarisms, and deformed by quaint conceits. The space assigned to the following selections may appear disproportionately large to those who have only beheld from a distance that languid twilight of the author's fame, which lingers among the few who yet read his "Emblems," and perhaps one or two of his less-remembered works, merely as aids to devotion. It is believed, however, that few persons will attentively peruse these specimens, without imbibing a wish to become further acquainted with the volumes from which they are derived.