Crashaw’s English Works bound Together with his Latin Poems

Crashaw, Richard (1612-1649)

Steps to the Temple, The Delights of the Muses and Carmen Deo Nostro. By Ric. Crashaw, sometimes Fellow of Pembroke Hall, and late fellow of St Peters Colledge in Cambridge. The 2nd Edition. London: In the Savoy, Printed by T.N. for Henry Herringman at the Blew Anchor in the Lower Walk of the New Exchange. 1670 [Bound with:] Richardi Crashawi Poemata et epigrammata, quæ scripsit Latina & Græca, dum Aluæ Pemb. alumnus fuit, et Collegii Petrensis socius.

London: In the Savoy, Printed by T.N. for Henry Herringman at the Blew Anchor in the Lower Walk of the New Exchange. 1670

$6,500.00

Octavo: Two volumes bound as one. 16.6 x 10.6 cm. I. [16], 112, 115-208, [2] p., [1] leaf of plates. Collation: A-O8 (O8 blank and present.) With an added, engraved frontispiece of the temple. II. 28], 67, [1] p. A-F8

THIRD EDITION of the first book. SECOND EDITION of the second.

Bound in 19th c. morocco, gilt, very slightly worn. A nice copy with a few instances of light foxing. Complete with the engraved frontispiece.

This collection of Crashaw’s poetry comprises the third edition (not the second, as the title states) of his “Steps to the Temple” (first 1646), the third edition of “The Delights of the Muses” (first edition 1648) and the second edition of the posthumous “Carmen Deo Nostro…Sacred Poems” (first edition 1652). "The Delights of the Muses” and the "Carmen Deo nostro te decet Hymnus" each has a divisional title page on leaves F8r and K5r respectively. This volume contains Crashaw’s best-known poems: "The Weeper", "Wishes: To his (supposed) Mistresse", and his “Hymn to Saint Teresa”, which provided the inspiration to Coleridge’s "Christabel". The Latin poems from the earlier editions are omitted.

Along with Donne, Herbert and Marvell, Crashaw was one of the most important of the Metaphysical poets. "Compared with one another, Crashaw represents more of Donne's ecstasy, and Herbert more of his reason" (George Williamson) The son of a Puritan clergyman who eventually converted to Catholicism, Crashaw is best known for the intensity of his religious poetry.

“Crashaw’s place in English literature may be said to be fixed now for all time. If he is not the most important, he is at any rate not the least distinguished of that remarkable group of Caroline lyrists described so unsympathetically, by Dr. Johnson, as belonging to the Metaphysical School. Like Herbert and Donne and Cowley, he is in love with the smaller graces of life and the profounder truths of religion, while he seems forever preoccupied with the secret architecture of things. He has, in his better moments of inspiration, a rare and singularly felicitous gift of epithet and phrase, as when he addresses St. Teresa in the famous outburst of religious enthusiasm that marks the close of the "Apology":—

O thou undaunted daughter of desires!

By all thy dower of lights and fires;

By all the eagle in thee, all the dove;

By all thy lives and deaths of love;

By thy large draughts of intellectual day,

And by thy thirsts of love more large than they;

By all thy brim-filled bowls of fierce desire,

And by thy last morning's draughts of liquid fire;

By the full kingdom of that final kiss

That seized thy parting soul, and seal'd thee His

—or when he bespeaks for the ideal wife in the justly famed "Wishes to his (supposed) Mistress."

Whate'er delight,

Can make Day's forehead bright,

Or give down to the wings of Night.

If his predilection is for those wanton arabesques of rhythm in which fancy seems suddenly to become crystallized as wit, on the other hand his lyric gift too often becomes merely elaborate and flags because he is forever in quest of a surprise.”(Clifford)

The Latin Epigrams:

Crashaw was a master of the English epigram, a form that he had explored –in Latin and Greek- from his mid-teens. In 1629 Crashaw “was admitted to the distinguished Charterhouse School, where he bloomed under the indulgent eye of its Royalist head, Robert Brook. At Charterhouse Crashaw perfected the rigorous discipline of the classicist and epigrammatist. Every Sunday he was obliged to compose four Greek and four Latin verses on the New Testament reading at the second lesson of matins, a practice he continued on a Watt scholarship to Pembroke College, Cambridge, from 1631 to 1634. He produced his first volume of poetry at Cambridge in 1634, the Epigrammatum Sacrorum Liber, a collection of his classical epigrams on the morning service which had so moved his stepmother. These verses reveal new springs of tenderness as he became absorbed in a Laudian theology of love, in the religious philanthropy practiced by his Pembroke master, Benjamin Laney, and preached by his tutor, John Tournay, and in the passionate poetic study of the Virgin Mother and Christ Child.”(Poetry Foundation)

Bound in 19th c. morocco, gilt, very slightly worn. A nice copy with a few instances of light foxing. Complete with the engraved frontispiece.