Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Lewalski, Barbara Kiefer, 1931-
Protestant poetics and the seventeenth-century
Includes bibliographical references and index.
1. English poetry—17th century—History and
criticism. 2. Christianpoetry, English—History and
criticism. 3. Protestantism in literature.
4. Reformation—England. I. Title.
PR545.R4L48 82i'.4'o93i 78-70305
ISBN 0-691-01415-9 (pbk.)
0-691-06759-7 (alk. paper)
i. Milton, John, 1608-1674. Paradise lost.
2. Milton, John, 1608-1674. Paradise regained.
3. Epic poetry, English—History and criticism.
4. Christianpoetry, English—History and criticism.
5. Bible. O.T. Psalms—Criticism, interpretation, etc.
6. Bible in literature. I. Title. PR3562.R27 1989 821'.4—dci9 88-34383 CIP
This book has been composed in Linotron Bembo
Clothbound editions of Princeton University Press books
are printed on acid-free paper, and binding materials
are chosen for strength and durability. Paperbacks
, Bonner Beiblatt zur Anglistik
C. W . Kennedy, Early English ChristianPoetry, New York,
C. W . Kennedy, The Earliest English Poetry, New York, 1943.
Neil Ker (Review of Facsimile), Medium Aevum 2 (1933)j
F. Klaeber (Review of Cook), JEGP 4 (1902), 101-112.
Sherman Kuhn, " A Damaged Passage in the Exeter Book,"
J E G P 50 ( 1 9 5 1 ) , 491-493.
H. Leiding, Die Sfrache der Cynewulfschen Dichtungen, Got-
F. J. Mather, "The Cynewulf Question from a metrical point of
view," M L N 7 (1892), 193-213.
A. A. May, " A Source
1. JEROME, 446. - 2. CASSIODORUS, 448. - 3. ISIDORE, 450.
- 4· ALDHELM, 457· - 5· EARLY CHRISTIANPOETRY, 458.
- 6. NOTKER BALBULUS, 463. - 7. AIMERIC, 464. - 8. LIT-
ERARY STUDIES IN THE TWELFTH AND THIRTEENTH CEN-
VII: The Mode of Existence of the Medieval Poet 468
VIII: The Poet's Divine Frenzy 474
IX: Poetry as Perpetuation 476
x: Poetry as Entertainment 478
XI: Poetry and Scholasticism 480
XII: The Poet's Pride 485
XIII: Brevity as an Ideal of Style
XIV: Etymology as a Category of Thought
xv: Numerical Composition
a mere pictura of
something which never happened. The word pictura itself is used by
Hugh of St. Victor in the Didascalicon. Here poems are classified along
with pagan philosophical writings as "appendicia artium." These writ
ings are not truly philosophical in themselves, but they may prepare
the way toward philosophy. It is clear that Hugh is writing of pagan
poetry, but the conception of the pictura applies to Christianpoetry as
huiusmodi sunt omnia poetarum carmina, ut sunt tragoediae, co-
moediae, satirae, heroica quoque et lyrica, et iambica
Empire in the fifth century. For internal trans
formation of the Roman aristocracy, see especially Herbert Bloch,
"The Pagan Revival in the West at the End of the Fourth Century,"
in Momigliano (cited n. 4), pp. 193-218.
historical considerations. Granted that Prudentius' formal
classicism is atypical, a transitory phenomenon in the tradi
tion of Early Christianpoetry, it can be explained as result
ing not only from a personal engagement with literary
ancestors, but from a timely responsiveness to his audience's
desperate need for
clerk have read these lines? He could hardly trans-
late semipaganus otherwise than as "only half a pagan." So-he must have
thought to himself-this Persius, this contemporary of Paul and the half-
Christian Seneca, must have abjured his erroneous faith in the pagan gods!
That was why he would have no more converse with the Muses!
In addition to invoking the Muses, antique poetry also invoked Zeus.s
Christianpoetry was able to establish contact here too: Paradise was equated
with Olympus, God with Jupiter (Dante still writes: "sommo Giove").
the power of the oracle- myth itself, and of the cultural and imaginative
work that it has been able to do in post- classical times’.16 That story,
left still untold by Connor, will be attempted here. To do it justice, we
cannot restrict ourselves to books written specifically on the subject, for
the theme appears in all manner of contexts and genres, many unpre-
dictable. We shall glance, for example, at the humanist reconstruction
of pagan religion, the witchcraft debates of the later Renaissance, the
tropes of Christianpoetry, the controversies about
in the Cloisters, New College, Oxford, 1950
David Cecil • 275
truly blossomed only when he left Eton and came to Oxford,
and entered Christ Church. The strongest cultural influence on
him at Eton was probably Aldous Huxley, who was a temporary
master there during the First World War, and opened his eyes
to realms of poetry which were new to him; his love of English
poetry, particularly Christianpoetry, stayed with him for the rest
of his life.
At Oxford Cecil became deeply interested in English history,
particularly the Stuarts and the rise of the Tory