1661
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mundorum Explicatio, or, the Explanation of an Hieroglyphical Figure.

Mundorum Explicatio, or, the Explanation of an Hieroglyphical Figure wherein are couched the Mysteries of the external, internal, and eternal Worlds, shewing the true Progress of a Soul from the Court of Babylon to the City of Jerusalem, from the Adamical Fallen State to the Regenerate and Angelical: being a Sacred Poem. Written by S. P., Armig.

Samuel Pordage


Edmund Spenser appears in a catalogue of poets in a vast religious poem. Samuel Pordage ("S. P."), one of Dryden's antagonists, was "a by-word for grub-street poverty" C. W. Previte-Orton, Cambridge History of English Literature (1912) 8:104.

Universal Magazine: "Gentlemen, I beg leave to mention the Title of a Book, published above a Century ago, never having seen it taken Notice of by any of the Opposers or Defenders of Milton; but (the Subject-Matter of it being in many Parts the same as his Paradise Lost) I submit it to your Judgments whether Milton's Plan was not taken from it. The Book was printed six Years before Milton's Agreement with his Bookseller, and about eight before his first Edition of Paradise Lost came out. It is rather scarce; yet, not being known, does not sell dear in Catalogues that by Chance have it. There is an hieroglyphic Figure belonging to the Book, about sixteen Inches square, being a small Sheet of Paper, which folds up in it; but very few of the Books now have it. The Book was written by Way of explaining the Print" 55 (October 1774) 190.

W. Davenport Adams: "Samuel Pordage was the author of Azaria and Hushai, a reply to Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel; and of The Medal Revers'd; a Satire against Persecution, a reply to the same writer's Medal. He also wrote two tragedies entitled Herod and Mariamne (1673) and The Siege of Babylon (1578); a romance called Eliana, and a version of Seneca's Troas. His shorter poems appeared in 1660" Dictionary of English Literature (1878) 492.



Here lacks an Angel's Tongue to Trumpet forth,
In his best Layes, blest Paradise's worth;
That by those sweet straines he a tast might give
To you, what pleasures there for ever Live.
Here lacks a Tasso, or a Bartas, or
A Spencer's Muse, a Quarles, or Silvester:
Or some such Laureate: But since their skil
Is wanting to my Pen, accept my Will:
For though my Muse cann't reach their lofty vein,
Child-like the Truth speaks in a stammering strain.
Thus far sh' has waded, and she th'rough must go,
Although the style is for the Theame too low. . . .

[p. 235]