1735 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Richard Blackmore

Isaac Watts to William Duncombe, 23 May 1735; in Duncombe, Letters of Eminent Persons (1772; 1773) 2:83-84.



Pray tell me sir, when I shall be so happy to see you next, whether Sir R. Blackmore's preface to his Alfred does not convince you that a Christian poet has happier advantages than a pagan? His prefaces are certainly better in their kind than his poems, as several gentlemen of good taste have acknowledged. And why should not some great genius seize those advantages, and leave old Homer no longer right to the supreme laurel? But I forget myself and my years; though when I am upon such a subject, "rejuvenescit calamus renuentibus annis."