1827 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Francis Quarles

Henry Neele, in Russell Institution Lectures on English Poetry (1827); Remains (New York, 1829) 136-37.



Francis Quarles is an author of the same [metaphysical] stamp; with a fine genius, but the vilest taste in the world. His writings are full of powerful effort, ill directed. His poetry, in all its faults and merits, is well illustrated by his engravings. There is much of what the artists call good intention in both, but never was good intention so marred in the execution. His poetry is not more like Milton's, than his pictures are like Raffaelle's; yet both are full of originality and power: the mere chippings and parings of his genius, combined with a little taste and judgment, would have been sufficient to have formed either an artist, or a poet, of no ordinary rank.