1756 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Sheffield

Joseph Warton, in Essay on the Genius and Writings of Pope (1756, 1782) 1:201-02.



I can recollect no performance of Buckingham, that stamps him a true genius. His reputation was owing to his rank. In reading his poems, one is apt to exclaim with our author,

What woeful stuff this madrigal would be,
If some starv'd hackney sonneteer or me?
But let a LORD ONCE OWN the happy lines,
How the wit brightens! how the style refines!
Before his sacred name flies every fault,
And each exalted stanza teems with thought.

The best part of Buckingham's ESSAY is that, in which he gives a ludicrous account of the plan of modern tragedy.