1809 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Lord Byron, in English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809); Poems ed. E. H. Coleridge (1898) 1:305-06.



Time was, ere yet in these degenerate days
Ignoble themes obtained mistaken praise,
When Sense and Wit with Poesy allied,
No fabled Graces, flourished side by side,
From the same fount their inspiration drew,
And, reared by Taste, bloomed fairer as they grew.
Then, in this happy Isle, a POPE'S pure strain
Sought the rapt soul to charm, nor sought in vain;
A polished nation's praise aspired to claim,
And raised the people's, as the poet's fame.