1683 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Fairfax

John Dryden, in William Soame, trans., The Art of Poetry (1683) 7-8.



Our ancient Verse, (as homely as the Times)
Was rude, unmeasur'd, only Tagg'd with Rhimes:
Number and Cadence, that have Since been Shown,
To those unpolish'd Writers were unknown.
Fairfax was He, who, in that Darker Age,
By his just Rules restrain'd Poetic Rage;
Spencer did next in Pastorals excel,
And taught the Noble Art of Writing well:
To stricter Rules the Stanza did restrain,
And found for Poetry a richer Veine.