Reference > Cambridge History > Cavalier and Puritan > The Sacred Poets > The sacred poets a group with personal links, not a new school of poetry
   George Herbert’s personality and divided aims reflected in his poems  

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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VII. Cavalier and Puritan.

II. The Sacred Poets.

§ 1. The sacred poets a group with personal links, not a new school of poetry.


In the history of English sacred verse, there has not been any group of poets like those who wrote in the second quarter of the seventeenth century. Herbert, Crashaw and Vaughan form, not, indeed, a school of poetry, but a group with definite links connecting them. Unlike the Fletchers and Habington, who looked back to “Spenser’s art and Sydney’s wit,” they come under the influence both of the newer literary fashions of Jonson and Donne, and of the revived spirit of cultured devotion in the Anglican church. The welcome given to The Temple showed that an age more serious than the Elizabethan was interested in the intimate expression of personal religion. Herbert points the way; but each writer has an individual note and an intensity of feeling which ensure his survival for his own sake. In their development of the religious lyric, which was admirably adapted to the portrayal of subtle emotions, they achieved a modest success, while greater poets triumphed in the ampler fields of allegory and epic.   1

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
   George Herbert’s personality and divided aims reflected in his poems  
 
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