1787 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Dryden

Thomas Warton, in "On His Majesty's Birth-Day, 1787" Works (1802) 112-14.



At length the matchless Dryden came,
To light the Muses' clearer flame;
To lofty numbers grace to lend,
And strength with melody to blend;
To triumph in the bold career of song,
And roll th' unwearied energy along.
Does the mean incense of promiscuous praise,
Does servile fear, disgrace his regal bays?
I spurn his panegyric strings,
His partial homage, tun'd to kings!
Be mine, to catch his manlier chord,
That paints th' impassion'd Persian lord,
By glory fir'd, to pity su'd,
Rouz'd to revenge, by love subdu'd;
And still, with transport new, the strains to trace,
That chant the Theban pair, and Tancred's deadly vase.