1612-1649. English poet. After some years as fellow of the then High Church college, Peterhouse, Cambridge, he entered the Roman Catholic Church and spent his last years at the court of Charles I's queen, Henrietta Maria, in Paris and then as subcanon of Loretto where he died. His Steps to the Temple (1646) links him with the group known as the Metaphysical poets (see Donne and Herbert), but his work differs from theirs in its more exotic and emotional coloring. Crashaw was influenced by the Italian Marino in poetry and the cult of St. Teresa in religion. His work is expressive of intense devotion, but it is often marred by extravagance of language and imagery.