1667 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Waller

William Temple to Lord Lisle, August 1667; Moulton, Library of Literary Criticism (1901-05) 2:379.



I cannot but bewail the transitoriness of their fame, as well as other men's, when I hear Mr. Waller is turned to burlesque among them, while he is alive, which never happened to old poets till many years after their death; and though I never knew him enough to adore him as many have done, and easily believe he may be, as your Lordship says, enough out of fashion, yet I am apt to think some of the old cut-work bands were of as fine thread, and as well wrought, as any of our new points; and, at least, that all the wit he and his company spent, in heightening love and friendship, was better employed, than what is laid out so prodigally by the modern wits, in the mockery of all sorts of religion and government.