1693 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Waller

Anonymous, "To Mr. Waller, upon the Copy of Verses made by himself on the last Copy in his Book" Examen Poeticum: being the Third Part of Miscellany Poems (1693) 197-98.



When Shame, for all my foolish Youth had writ,
Advis'd, 'twas time the Rhyming Trade to quit,
Time to grow wise, and be no more a Wit—
The Noble Fire, that animates thy Age,
Once more enflam'd me with Poetick Rage.

Kings, Heroes, Nymphs, the Brave, the Fair, the Young,
Have been the Theme of thy Immortal Song;
A Nobler Argument, at last, thy Muse,
Two things Divine; Thee, and Her self, does chuse.

Age, whose dull weight makes vulgar Spirits bend,
Gives Wings to thine, and bids it upward tend.
No more confin'd, above the Starry Skies,
Out, from the Body's broken Cage, it flies.

But Oh! vouchsafe, not wholly to retire,
To joyn with, and compleat th' Etherial Quire!
Still here remain! still on the Threshold stand;
Still at this distance view the promis'd Land,
Tho' thou may'st seem, so Heav'nly is thy Sense,
Not going thither, but new come from thence.