1756 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Mark Akenside

Joseph Warton, in Essay on the Genius and Writings of Pope (1756; 1782) 1:69-70 & n.



I hope I shall not transgress a very sensible observation of POPE, who would have a true critic be "Still pleas'd to praise, yet not afraid to blame." If should say, we have lately seen two or three lyric pieces, superiour to any he has left us; I mean the Ode to Lyric Poetry, and another to lord Huntingdon, by Dr. Akenside; and a Chorus of British Bards, by Mr. Gilbert West, at the end of the Institution of the Order of the Garter [Together with some of the Odes of Mr. William Collins, who had a strong and fruitful imagination; and the Chorus on Death in Mr. Mason's Caractacus]. Both these are written with regular returns of the Strophe, Antistrophe, and Epode, which give a truly Pindaric variety to the numbers, that is wanting not only to the best French and Italian, but even to the best Latin odes. In the pieces here commended, the figures are strong, and the transitions bold, and there is a just mixture of sentiment and imagery; and particularly, they are animated with a noble spirit of liberty.