1705 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

William Walsh to William Wycherley, 20 April 1705; Works of Pope, ed. Warton (1797) 7:53-54.



April 20, 1705.

I return you the papers [Pope's Pastorals] you favoured me with, and had sent them to you yesterday morning, but that I thought to have them to you last night myself. I have read them several times with great satisfaction. The Preface is very judicious and very learned; and the verses very tender and easy. The Author seems to have a particular genius for that kind of poetry, and a judgment that much exceeds the years you told me of. He has taken very freely from the ancients, but what he has mixed of his own with theirs, is not inferior at all to what he has taken from them. 'Tis no flattery at all to say, that Virgil had written nothing so good at his age. I shall take it as a favour if you will bring me acquainted with him: and if he will give himself the trouble any morning to call at my house, I shall be very glad to read the verses over with him, and give him my opinion of the particulars more largely than I can well do in this letter. I am, Sir, etc.