1694 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Waller

Joseph Addison, in "Account of the Greatest English Poets" Miscellany Poems the Fourth Part (1694) 323-24.



But now my Muse, a softer strain rehearse.
Turn every Line with Art, and smooth thy Verse;
The Courtly Waller next commands thy Lays:
Muse Tune thy Verse, with Art, to Waller's Praise.
While tender Airs and lovely Dames inspire
Soft melting Thoughts, and propagate Desire;
So long shall Waller's strains our Passion move,
And Sacharissa's Beauties kindle Love.
Thy Verse, Harmonious Bard, and flatt'ring Song,
Can make the Vanquish'd Great, the Coward strong.
Thy Verse can show ev'n Cromwell's innocence,
And Complement the Storms that bore him hence.
Oh had thy Muse not come an Age too soon,
But seen Great Nassaw on the British Throne!
How had his Triumphs glitter'd in thy Page,
And warm'd Thee to a more Exalted Rage!
What Scenes of Death and Horrour had we viewd,
And how had Boine's wide Current Reek'd in Blood!
Or if Maria's Charms thou wou'dst rehearse,
In smoother Numbers and a softer Verse,
Thy Pen had well describ'd her Graceful Air,
And Gloriana wou'd have seem'd more Fair.