1803 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Preston

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in Poems (1803) 81.



The composition of the Sonnet has been regulated by Boileau in his Art of Poetry, and since Boileau, by William Preston, in the elegant preface to his Amatory Poems: the rules, which they would establish, are founded on the practice of Petrarch. I have never yet been able to discover sense, nature, or poetic fancy in Petrarch's poems; they appear to me all one cold glitter of heavy conceits and metaphysical abstractions.