1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Erasmus Darwin

George Dyer, in Privileges of the University of Cambridge, Supplement (1824) 144.



Dr. Darwin, as we have already hinted, was of St. John's, a philosopher and a fine poet. His poetry addresses at once the reason — for it relates to science — and the imagination — for it is employed in fiction. The philosophy of Darwin, and the Calvinism of Cowper, were certainly different things: but each admired the other's poetry; and in this respect they manifested themselves to be true poets, "Testes veritatis" to each other — we mean of poetical truth. For poetry is not an affair of metaphysics, nor of philosophical calculation, any more than of straight lines or curves, of triangles or quadrangles, or circles, tangents, or secants.