Abraham Cowley (1618-67) was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge. His own efforts in heroic poetry and his praise of D'Avenant's stand out against what may be partly a sentimental enthusiasm for Spenser, though the portrait of Envy in the Davideis borrows from the Faerie Queene. I quote from Thomas Sprat's Account of the Life of Mr Abraham Cowley (1668), sig. A2:
The occasion of this first inclination to Poetry, was his casual lighting on Spencer's Fairy Queen, when he was but just able to read. That indeed is a Poem fitter for the examination of men, than the consideration of a Child. But in him it met with a Fancy, whose strength was not to be judged by the number of his years.
Sprat also thinks it worth mentioning that Cowley was buried near Chaucer and Spenser, 'the two most Famous English poets of former times'.
(a) From the epistle To Sir William D'Avenant…prefatory to D'Avenant's Discourse upon Gondibert (Paris 1650) sig. A3; repr. in Poems, ed. A.R. Waller (Cambridge, 1905), p. 42:
Methinks Heroick Poesie, till now
Like some fantastick Fairy land did show;
Gods, Devils, Nymphs, Witches, & Giants race,
And all but man, in mans best work had place.
Thou like some worthy Knight, with sacred Arms
Dost drive the Monsters thence, and end the Charms.
(b) From Of Myself in The Works (1668), p. 144; repr. in Essays and Other Prose Writings, ed. A.R. Waller (Cambridge, 1906), pp. 457-8: