1776 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Waller

John Nichols, Note in Original Works of William King (1776) 3:181n.



Edmund Waller, esq. born March 3, 1605; died Oct. 1, 1687. He is commonly styled the English Tibullus, and was the first who shewed us our tongue had beauty and numbers in it. The best edition of his works is in 4to, 1730, with elegant and useful notes by Mr. Fenton. — Mr. Waller excelled all his predecessors in harmonious versification. His love verses have all the tenderness and politeness of the Roman poet he so much resembled; and his panegyrick on Cromwell has been ever esteemed a master-piece in its kind. His vein is never redundant, like that of Cowley: we frequently wish he had said more, but never that he had said less. His personal qualities were as amiable as his poetical; and he was equally formed to please the witty and the fair. He not only retained all his faculties, but much of his usual vivacity, at eighty years of age.