1782 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

William Hayley, in Essay on Epic Poetry (1782) 67.



Yet peace — new music floats on Aether's wings;
Say, it is Harmony herself who sings?
No! while enraptur'd Sylphs the Song inspire,
'Tis POPE who sweetly wakes the silver lyre
To melting notes, more musically clear
Than Ariel whisper'd in Belinda's ear.
Too soon he quits them for a sharper tone;
See him, tho' form'd to fill the Epic throne,
Decline the sceptre of that wide domain,
To bear a Lictor's rod in Satire's train;
And, shrouded in a mist of moral spleen,
Behold him close the visionary scene!