The year 1638 in literature involved some significant events.
- John Barclay - The Mirror of Minds (posthumous)
- Richard Braithwaite (alias "Corymbaeus") - Barnabee's Journal (In Latin and English versions)
- Abraham Cowley - Love's Riddle
- William Davenant - Madagascar, with other Poems
- Francis Lenton - Great Britain's Beauties; or, The Female Glory Epitomized
- Shackerley Marmion - A Funeral Sacrifice, to the Sacred Memory of his Thrice-Honored Father, Ben Jonson
- John Milton - Lycidas