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The Works in Verse and Prose of Sir John Davies

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Pages: 238

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC

By: John Davies

Excerpt from book: imaginative poetry of the last two centuries, whether we estimate them by the pleasure they impart to us, or by the intellectual vigour they display. Experience has shown us that the faculties familiarly deemed poetical are frequently exhibited in a considerable degree, but very few have been able to preserve a perspicuous beauty without stiffness or pedantry (allowance made for the subject and the times), in metaphysical reasonining, so successfully as Sir John Da vies, "f The alleged " no passion " is contradicted by the various pathetic autobiographic introspections and confessions brought out in this Memorial- Introduction, and not less so by the outbursts of adoration o,nd praise that thunder up like the hosannahs before the great White Throne. The similarly alleged " little fancy " is one of manifold proofs that the critic was the most superficial Of all imaginable readers with so much pretention. " Nosce Teipsum " is radiant as the dew-bedabbled grass with delicacies of fancy, not a few of the " fancies " being as exquisitely touched as divine work. Campbell in his " Essay on English Poetry " t Introduction to the Literature of Europe in the 15th, 16th, and 17th Centuries : Vol. II, p. 227, edu. I860. (prefixed to his " Specimens ") may be read with interest after Ilallam. Accepting from Johnson as Johnson from Drydeii the name of " metaphysical poets," he observes:—"The term of metaphysical poetry would apply with much more justice to the quatrains of Sir John Davies and those of Sir Fulke Greville, writers who, at a later period, found imitators in Sir Thomas Overbury and Sir William Davenant. Davies's poem on the Immortality of the Soul, entitled " Nosce Teipsum," will convey a much more favourable idea of metaphysical poetry than the wittiest effusions of Donne...  


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