1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir John Davies

Nathan Drake, in Literary Hours (1800) 2:165-66.



Under the next class we find the names of Sir I. Davies and the two Fletchers, authors of the Nosce Teipsum, The Purple Island and Christ's Victory, poems from which may be detached a few morsels of exquisite simplicity and descriptive beauty, but when taken in the mass, criticism, if impartial, must pronounce them insufferably tedious and quaint. The anatomy of the human body is a subject little calculated for poetry, and would weigh down the first abilities; nor is the theology of Giles Fletcher in the least better adapted to the decorations of the Muse. The production of Davies has more terseness and perspicuity, but in poetical genius he is inferior to the two brothers.