1881 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Henry More

George Saintsbury, in History of Elizabethan Literature (1887) 379.



In More we get for the most part rather bad verse, and doubtfully explained philosophy. Even Coleridge, strongly as More's subject, and in part his method of treatment, appealed to him, has left some rather severe criticisms on the Song of the Soul. It is quite true that More has, as Southey says, "lines and passages of sublime beauty." A man of his time, actuated by its noble thought, trained as we know More to have been in the severest school of Spenser, and thus habituated to the heavenly harmonies of that perfect poet, could hardly fail to produce such. But his muse is a chaotic not a cosmic one.