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[138] than the text, gave out at the end of the eighteenth book. Yet Drayton could write well, and had an agreeable lightsomeness of fancy, as his ‘Nymphidia’ proves. His poem ‘To the Cambro-Britons on their Harp’ is full of vigor; it runs, it leaps, clashing its verses like swords upon bucklers, and moves the pulse to a charge.

Daniel was in all respects a man of finer mould. He did indeed refine our tongue, and deserved the praise his contemporaries concur in giving him of being ‘well-languaged.’1 Writing two hundred and fifty years ago, he stands in no need of a glossary, and I have noted scarce a dozen words, and not more turns of phrase, in his works, that have become obsolete. This certainly indicates both remarkable taste and equally remarkable judgment. There is an equable dignity in his thought and sentiment such as we rarely meet. His best poems always remind me of a table-land, where, because all is so level, we are apt to forget on how lofty a plane we are standing. I think his ‘Musophilus’ the best poem of its kind in the language. The reflections are natural, the expression condensed, the thought weighty, and the language worthy of it. But he also wasted himself on an historical poem, in which the characters were incapable of that remoteness from ordinary associations which is essential to the ideal. Not that we can escape into the ideal by merely emigrating into the past or the unfamiliar. As in the German legend the little black Kobold of prose that haunts us in the present will seat

1 Edmund Bolton in his Hypercritica says, ‘The works of Sam Daniel contained somewhat a flat, but yet withal a very pure and copious English, and words as warrantable as any man's, and fitter perhaps for prose than measure.’ I have italicized his second thought, which chimes curiously with the feeling Daniel leaves in the mind. (See Haslewood's Ancient Crit. Essays, Vol. II.) Wordsworth, an excellent judge, much admired Daniel's poem to the Countess of Cumberland.

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