Henry Vaughan: Olor Iscanus, or The Swan of Usk

(448 words)
  • Glyn Pursglove (University of Wales, Swansea)

Olor Iscanus (“The Swan of Usk”) is a very miscellaneous collection, mixing prose and verse, both original and translated, in a variety of genres. On its title-page it is described as “A Collection of some select Poems, and Translations, formerly written by Mr. Henry Vaughan ,Silurist. Published by a Friend”. A puzzle surrounds its publication. The dedication of the book is dated “Newton by Usk this 17. of Decemb. 1647”, some four years before the book was actually published. The delay was perhaps due to a change in Vaughan's conception of the purposes of poetry. His Poems of 1646 was a collection well within the mainstream of Cavalier love poetry. In 1650, when his Silex …

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Pursglove, Glyn. "Olor Iscanus, or The Swan of Usk". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 July 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=3086, accessed 30 September 2016.]