1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Michael Drayton

Bryan Waller Procter, in Effigies Poeticae, or, the Portraits of the British Poets (1824) 22.



From an original Picture at Dulwich College.

DRAYTON, the poetical Cellarius of England, was a voluminous and meritorious writer. He has immortalized every rivulet from the Sid to the Tweed; he has made famous the Barons' wars, and embalmed, in poetry, the traditions of our ancestors, and the smaller offsets of history. His poetry runs evenly, but is not very imaginative. His face has all the precision of his verse without its beauty; it is square-cut, and somewhat heavy in its fashion. There is nothing but his eye which is in any manner indicative of the laurel. Drayton's "Polyolbion" is now a treasure to our antiquarians, and not the less so from its being illustrated by the notes of the "learned Selden."