1814 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Leigh Hunt, in Feast of the Poets (1814) 28n.



In my judgment, [Pope is] at a good distance from Dryden, and at an immeasurable distance from such men as Spenser and Milton; but if the author of the Rape of the Lock, of Eloisa to Abelard, and of the Elegy on an Unfortunate Lady, is no poet, then are fancy and feeling no properties belonging to poetry. I am only considering his versification; and upon that point I do not hesitate to say, that I regard him, not only as no master of his art, but as a very indifferent practiser, and one whose reputation will grow less and less, in proportion as lovers of poetry become intimate with his great predecessors, and with the principles of musical beauty in general.