1683 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Waller

John Dryden, in William Soame, trans.; Art of Poetry (1683) 9.



Waller came last, but was the first whose Art
Just Weight and Measure did to Verse impart;
That of a well-plac'd Word could teach the force,
And shew'd for Poetry a nobler Course:
His happy Genius did our Tongue Refine,
And easie Words with pleasing Numbers joyn:
His Verses to good method did apply,
And chang'd harsh Discord to Soft Harmony.
All own'd his Laws; which long approv'd and try'd,
To present Authors now may be a Guide.
Tread boldly in his Steps, secure from Fear,
And be, like him, in your Expressions clear.