1761 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Waller

Charles Churchill, in The Apology (1761); Poetical Works of Charles Churchill, ed. William Tooke (1804) 1:95.



Others affect the stiff and swelling phrase;
Their Muse must walk in stilts, and strut in stays:
The sense they murder, and the words transpose,
Lest poetry approach too near to prose.
See tortur'd Reason how they pare and trim,
And, like Procrustes, stretch, or lop the limb.

Waller, whose praise suceeding bards rehearse,
Parent of harmony in English verse,
Whose tuneful Muse in sweetest accents flows,
In couplets first taught straggling sense to close.