1782 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

William Cowper, in "Table Talk" Cowper, Poems (1782) 33-34.



Then Pope, as harmony itself exact,
In verse well disciplined, complete, compact,
Gave virtue and morality a grace
That quite eclipsing pleasure's painted face,
Levied a tax of wonder and applause,
Ev'n on the fools that trampl'd on their laws.
But he (his musical finesse was such,
So nice his ear, so delicate his touch)
Made poetry a mere mechanic art,
And ev'ry warbler has his tune by heart.