1693 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Abraham Cowley

Samuel Wesley, in "Essay on Heroic Poetry" Life of our Blessed Saviour (1693) sig. a4v.



Mr. Cowley's Davideis ... has Gondiberts Majesty without his stiffness, and something of Spenser's Sweetness and Variety without his Irregularity: Indeed all his Works are so admirable, that another Cowley might well be employ'd in giving them their just Elogy. His Hero is according to the antient Model, truly Poetical, a mixture of some Faults and greater Virtues. He had the advantage of both Love and Honour for his Episodes, nay; and Friendship too, and that the noblest in History. He had all the sacred History before him, and liberty to chuse where he pleased, either by Narration or Prophesie; nor has he, as far as he has gone, neglected any Advantages the Subject gave him. Its a great Loss to the World that he left the Work unfinish'd, since now he's dead, its always like to continue so.