1697 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Abraham Cowley

Daniel Baker, "On Mr. Abraham Cowley's Works" Baker, Poems upon Several Occasions (1697) 1-2.



The British Land in former Time
Was thought too phlegmatick a Clime,
Too cold for Verse to thrive and grow
On such a heavy Soil: But now
Nor Greece may boast, nor Rome that she
Surpasses her in Poetry.

Homer and Virgil lately were,
'Til Cowley wrote, the famous Pair:
But him they gladly now admit,
To the Triumvirate of Wit,
And grant, that tho' the Younger, yet
His Praise, the Poet's Wealth's as great.

These mighty Three so well are joyn'd,
'Twould pose the wisest Judge to find
Which of them all does most excel
In Honour's strife. But more to tell
What happy Realm shall raise a Fourth
To equal Fame, by equal Worth.