1836 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Michael Drayton

Richard Cattermole, in Sacred Poetry of the Seventeenth Century (1836) 2:35.



The principal works of this poet, who enjoyed a high degree of popularity during the greater part of his life, and left a name in our literature still regarded with no inconsiderable respect, are — the "Poly-Olbion," "Ideas," "The Barons' Wars," and "England's Heroical Epistles." The first, his most celebrated work, occasionally exhibits some of the warmth and beauty of the genuine bard; but upon the whole, denotes in its author the abilities rather of the historian, the antiquary, and the patient and accurate chorographer. The same character, somewhat modified, applies to the remainder. They are all more remarkable for historical research, extensive knowledge, and correctness of versification, than for the higher and more peculiar qualities—

those brave translunary things—
That the great poets had.