The first collected edition of The English Poems of Henry
King, D.D., has just been published by Dr. Lawrence Mason (Humphrey Milford for the Yale University Press, 68. net). It will be remembered that Henry King, whose dates are 1592-1669, and who was Bishop of Chichester, was one of the lees interesting of the literary successors of Dr. Donne. This excellently edited collection of his poems exhibits to perfection (as is so often the case with minor poets) the virtues and weaknesses of the poetic tradition of the period. Only very rarely does King rise above a respectable level of mediocrity. Perhaps the best poem in the book is the not unfamiliar "Contemplation upon Flowers," which begins :— " Brave flowers, that I could gallant it like you and be as little vaine, you come abroad, and make a barmelosso and to your bells of Earth againe;
you are not proud, you know your birth
for your Embroiderd garments are from Earth."
But unfortunately it is by no means clear that this was written by King, and it is placed by Dr. Mason among the "Doubtful Poems."