1633
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

To my deare Friend, the SPENCER of this Age.

The Purple Island, or the Isle of Man: Together with Piscatorie Eclogs and other Poeticall Miscellanies. By P. F. [Phineas Fletcher].

Francis Quarles


Nine stanzas appended to the conclusion of Phineas Fletcher's volume of poems. Francis Quarles declares that he had written his commendatory poem upon but a brief examination of Fletcher's manuscript; having had time to peruse it at his leisure, he offers a second poem of praise: "Then give me leave, rare Fletcher, (as before | I left a Garland at thy Gates) once more | To hang this Ivie at thy Postern-doore." The conceit of these verses is drawn from Caroline country-house poem; perhaps, in addition to the conventional metaphor of book-as-building it refers in an oblique way to the circumstances in which Quarles had encountered Fletcher's verses — perhaps at the estate of Edward Benlowes. To read Fletcher's poems, which fill a large quarto, would have required more than a casual inspection.

Rowland Freeman: "Francis Quarles, who wrote the commendatory verses from which an extract is inserted at the commencement of this article, is said to have been, notwithstanding the censures of some modern writers, the most popular poet of his time, and a man of truly poetical genius; to whom justice has never yet been done" Kentish Poets (1821) 1:266.

Abram Barnett Langdale: "There can be little question that the emblem writer and his second Colin were intimates in after years. Since the former matriculated at Cambridge some time before 1613, it is entirely possible that the later familiarity was an outgrowth of a university amity" Phineas Fletcher (1937) 46.



Deare friend,
No more a Stranger now: I lately past
Thy curious Building; call'd; but then my haste
Deny'd me a full draught; I did but taste.

Thy Wine was rich and pleasing; did appeare
No common grape: My haste could not forbeare
A second sippe; I hung a Garland there:

Past on my way; I lasht through thick and thinne,
Dipatch'd my business, and return'd agen;
I call'd the second time; unhors'd, went in:

View'd every Room; each Room was beautifi'd
With new Invention, carv'd on every side,
To please the common and the curious ey'd:

View'd every Office, every Office lay
Like a rich Magazen; and did bewray
Thy Treasure, op'ned with thy golden key:

View'd every Orchyard; every Orchyard did
Appeare a Paradise, whose fruits were hid
(Perchance) with shadowing Leaves, but none forbid:

View'd every Plot; spent some delightful houres
In every Garden, full of new-born flowers,
Delicious banks, and delectable bowers.

Thus having stepp'd and travell'd every staire
Within, and tasted every fruit that's rare
Without; I made thy house my thorough-fare.

Then give me leave, rare Fletcher, (as before
I left a Garland at thy Gates) once more
To hang this Ivie at thy Postern-doore.

[Sig R4-R4v]