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PRAISE AND PRAYER, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

William Davenant was an English poet and playwright in the 17th century. "Praise and Prayer" is a religious poem that was published in 1635.


The 17th century was a time of great social and political change in England, with the English Civil War and the Restoration of the monarchy. The literary scene was dominated by the metaphysical poets and the Cavalier poets. Davenant was a Royalist and was imprisoned during the Civil War. The poem reflects the influence of the Protestant Reformation on English literature.


The poem begins with a call to praise God and celebrate his greatness. Davenant praises God's creation, including the beauty of nature and the diversity of human experience. He then turns to prayer, asking God for forgiveness and guidance. He asks for strength to resist temptation and to remain steadfast in his faith. The poem ends with a call for all people to join in praise and prayer to God.


The poem consists of 26 lines of iambic pentameter, with a rhyme scheme of ABABCCDEEDFGGHHIIJKKL. It is written in a formal, elevated style, with a focus on the theme of praise and prayer. The poem's structure is carefully crafted to build to a climax, with the final lines expressing the poet's hope for all people to join together in praising and praying to God.

Poetic Elements:

The poem makes use of religious language and imagery to convey the poet's praise and prayer. Davenant uses metaphor and symbolism to describe God's creation, including the image of the sun as a "golden lamp." He also uses imagery to describe the effects of sin and the need for forgiveness, including the image of "swelling grief" and "contrite tears."


The poem is a religious meditation on the themes of praise and prayer. It is notable for its use of religious language and imagery, as well as its focus on the themes of forgiveness, strength, and steadfastness in faith. The poem is a reflection of the influence of the Protestant Reformation on English literature, as well as the religious and political turmoil of the 17th century. Overall, the poem is a well-crafted meditation that encourages the reader to join in praising and praying to God.

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