1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Michael Drayton

William Hazlitt, in Select British Poets (1824) in Works, ed. Howe (1932) 9:236-37.



DRAYTON has chiefly tried his strength in description and learned narrative. The plan of the Poly-Olbion (a local or geographical account of Great Britain) is original, but not very happy. The description of places are often striking and curious, but become tedious by uniformity. There is some fancy in the poem, but little general interest. His Heroic Epistles have considerable tenderness and dignity; and, in the structure of the verse, have served as a model to succeeding writers.