1836 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Drummond

Richard Cattermole, in Sacred Poetry of the Seventeenth Century (1836) 2:119.



DRUMMOND — of Hawthornden, as he is commonly styled — united in an eminent degree the characters of poet and historian. He wrote the history of his country during the reigns of the five first Jameses: his poems consist of Sonnets, Epigrams, Epitaphs, and some larger pieces; of which many are on moral and sacred subjects. In the latter, genuine feeling and a natural sweetness and simplicity maintain a successful struggle with the artificial manner fashionable in his time. His sonnets have received the highest praise from critics of distinguished taste and judgment; who have ranked them among the most perfect specimens of this kind of composition.

Drummond maintained, in his retreat at Hawthornden, a friendly correspondence with some eminent English poets; in particular, with Jonson; among the best-known occurrences of whose life is his journey on foot into Scotland, to visit his friend, in 1618. He was a good man, a sound patriot, and a sincere Christian.