1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Drummond

Nathan Drake, in Literary Hours (1800) 1:112.



The first among the poets of Great Britain who attained to excellence in the formation of the sonnet was Drummond of Hawthornden; and it may, without hazard of contradiction, be asserted, that many of his pieces equal, if not excel, the more celebrated effusions of the Italian school. "If any poems," observes Mr. Pinkerton [Ancient Scottish Poems 1:123], "possess a very high degree of the exquisite doric delicacy which we so much admire in Comus, &c. those of Drummond do. Milton may often be traced in him; and he had certainly read and admired him. And if we had no Drummond, perhaps we should never have seen the delicacies of Comus, Lycidas, Il Penseroso, L'Allegro."