1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Daniel

Bryan Waller Procter, in Effigies Poeticae, or, the Portraits of the British Poets (1824) 20.



From on original Picture in the collection of Lord Thanet.

DANIEL seems to have been an amiable, quiet man; but he had not, we think, very much of the poetic faculty. He was a smooth and tender versifier, aiming generally at some little moral, or chaunting, like an unwounded poet, the pains and penalties of love. He has in some few instances risen above his level, and given us some good verse, but his character is not great among the writers of his age. How far the portrait of Daniel agrees with his verse, the reader will determine. Daniel's fame shrunk, and became dim in the vigorous blaze of Ben Jonson's reputation. It is said, that he felt this eclipse, and in his old age, descended from the slopes of Parnassus and tilled (literally) the plain as an English farmer.

There is something almost touching in his sonnet, "And whither, poor, forsaken," &c.; and that beginning, "Restore thy tresses to the golden ore," reminds us of Drummond.