This volume is the product of two literary interests which have absorbed me for several years -- English Metaphysical poetry of the seventeenth century, and the interrelationships of the various national poetic traditions in Renaissance and late Renaissance Europe. A Morse Fellowship from Yale University in 1957-58 enabled me to do research in Europe, where the librarians of the University Library, Amsterdam, and the Bayrische Staatsbibliothek, Munich, lightened my task through their unfailing helpfulness and courtesy.
Anyone concerned with the examination of Metaphysical poetry as an international phenomenon owes a debt of gratitude to the pioneer studies of Alan Boase and Odette de Mourgues, and it is a pleasure to acknowledge that debt. I am more immediately and personally indebted to many of my colleagues at Yale: René Wellek and Eugene M. Waith, who, together with Lowry Nelson of the University of California at Los Angeles, read the manuscript of my book with care and sympathy as well as perceptiveness; Henri Peyre and Curt von Faber du Faur, who made helpful suggestions on French and German materials; Alexander M. Witherspoon, with whom I have often exchanged ideas on seventeenth-century poetry; Stanley G Eskin, who, providentially in Paris at a time when I needed to be but wasn't, kindly checked the original editions of two French texts for me.
I owe thanks, and the memory of stimulating conversations, to N. A. Donkersloot of the University of Amsterdam and Friedhelm Kemp of the Bayrische Rundfunk, Munich. Benjamin Hunningher of Columbia University, who several years ago first introduced me to the language and literature of Holland, kindly advised me on my translations from the Dutch,