1830 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Dryden

C. H., "To the Memory of Dryden" Morning Post 11 February 1830).



O Italy! amid thy ruins grey
The pilgrim oft will pass, and pausing sigh,
To see such beings shame thy mightier day—
Slaves, in the sight of Rome — of liberty!
Thus DRYDEN sang, with corn and laurel wreathed—
An oaten quill he bore within his hand;
And VIRGIL'S lays in other language breathed
The wars and tillage of Ausonia's land.
But not to such alone aspired his mind—
Of language strong, original in thought—
Severe, yet true, critic and friend combined;
To him the Muse, by stricter rules untaught,
From SHAKESPEARE had descended as a rugged stone
To which subduing time could lustre give alone!
1830.