1688 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Waller

Sir John Cotton, "To the Memory of my Noble Friend, Mr. Waller" Poems to the Memory of that incomparable Poet Edmond Waller (1688) 1-2.



Not Sleep, beneath the Shade in Flow'ry Fields,
To th' weary Traveller more Pleasure yeilds;
Nor, to asswage his Thirst, the living Spring,
I' th' heat of Summer, more delight does bring;
Than unto me thy well Tun'd Numbers do,
In which thou dost both please and profit too.
Born in a Clime where Storms and Tempests grow;
Far from the Place where Helicon does flow:
The Muses travel'd far to bless thy Sight,
And taught thee how to Think, and how to Write.
Th' Ascraean Shepherd tells us he indeed
Had seen them dancing, while his Flocks did feed,
Not Petrarch's Laura, nor bright Stella's Fame,
Shall longer live than Sacharissa's Name.
Thou do'st not write like those, who brand the Times,
And themselves most, with sharp Satyrick Rhimes:
Nor does thy Muse, with smutty Verses, tear
The modest Virgin's chast and tender Ear.
Free from their Faults, what e're thy Muse indites,
Not Ovid, nor Tibullus softer writes.
The choice of tuneful Words t' express our Thought,
By thy Example we have first been taught.
Our English *Virgil, and our Pindar too,
In this ('tis said) some negligence did shew.
I'le add but this, lest while I think to raise
Thy worth, I kindly injure thee with Praise.
Thy Verses have a Genius, and must
Live until all things crumble into Dust.

* Cowley.