1761 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Dryden

Charles Churchill, in The Apology (1761); Poetical Works of Charles Churchill, ed. William Tooke (1804) 1:97.



Here let me bend, great Dryden, at thy shrine,
Thou dearest name to all the tuneful nine.
What if some dull lines in cold order creep,
And with his theme the poet seems to sleep?
Still, when his subject rises proud to view,
With equal strength the poet rises too:
With strong invention, noblest vigour fraught,
Thought still springs up and rises out of thought;
Numbers ennobling numbers in their course,
In varied sweetness flow, in varied force;
The pow'rs of genius and of judgment join,
And the whole Art of Poetry is thine.