Warren, Arthur (DNB00)

WARREN, ARTHUR (fl. 1605), poet, wrote two poems descriptive of the pangs of poverty while he was imprisoned for debt in 1604. The titles of the poems were respectively ‘The Poore Mans Passions’ and ‘Pouerties Patience.’ A volume in quarto bearing the double title, ‘written by Arthur Warren,’ was entered on the ‘Stationers' Registers’ on 14 Jan. 1604–5, and was published ‘Anno Dom. 1605, at London, printed by I[ames] R[oberts] for R[ichard] B[ankworth].’ Warren dedicated his work to ‘his kindest fauourer, Maister Robert Quarme.’ He wrote, with a good deal of force and feeling, in six-line stanzas. The volume is rare. Copies are in the British Museum and in Malone's collection in the Bodleian Library.

Warren may be the writer who, under the initials ‘A. W.,’ prefixed commendatory verses to Gascoigne's ‘Posies’ (1575), Kendall's ‘Flowers of Epigrams’ (1577), and Cotton's ‘A Spirituall Song’ (1596). Warren certainly has a better claim to the authorship of these verses than Andrew Willet [q. v.], who has also been suggested as their author. There seems some ground, too, for identifying Warren with the ‘A. W.’ who was the chief contributor to Davison's ‘Poetical Rhapsodie’ in 1602. Davison only refers to his mysterious coadjutor, who has hitherto eluded definite discovery, by the initials ‘A. W.’ ‘A. W.'s’ most interesting poem in the collection is an ‘Eclogue upon the death of Sir Philip Sidney.’ The greater part of ‘A. W.'s’ voluminous verse in the ‘Poetical Rhapsodie’ deals with love. Its temper resembles that of Warren's ‘Poore Mans Passions.’ ‘A. W.’ in the ‘Poetical Rhapsodie’ very often employs the six-line stanza in which the whole of Warren's volume is composed. Some of ‘A. W.'s’ poems in the ‘Rhapsodie’ had circulated in manuscript in 1596 (Harl. MS. 6910). In the Harleian MS. 280, f. 102, there is a list in Davison's handwriting of the first lines of all the poems, ‘in rhyme and measured verse,’ which ‘A. W.’ had produced, apparently before 1602. The list includes 140 compositions, of which seventy-seven figured in the ‘Poetical Rhapsodie.’ Five further poems by ‘A. W.’ were introduced into the second edition of Davison's ‘Rhapsodie’ in 1608. Five others of ‘A. W.'s’ poems were subsequently transferred from the ‘Rhapsodie’ to the second edition of ‘England's Helicon,’ 1614.

[Collier's Bibliographical Account of Early English Literature, ii. 487; Davison's Poetical Rhapsody, ed. A. H. Bullen, vol. i. pp. lxvii et seq., pp. lxxxii et seq.; Ritson's Bibliographia Poetica, p. 382; Brydges's Restituta, iv. 190 et seq. Hunter suggests that ‘A. W.’ was Anthony Wingfield: see Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 24491, f. 202. Heart-Easings: Songs, Sonnets, and Epigrams, by ‘A. W.’ of the Middle Temple, Gent. [1595], reprinted literally from a copy supposed unique in the British Museum: T. and J. Allman, Princes Street, Hanover Square, 1824, is a modern forgery. In Lansdowne MS. 821 is a letter from A. Warren to Henry Cromwell, but there is nothing to connect the writer of this letter with the poet.]

S. L.