1744 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Waller

Mark Akenside, in Pleasures of Imagination (1744) 121-22.



Diff'rent minds
Incline to different objects: one pursues
The vast alone, the wonderful, the wild;
Another sighs for harmony, and grace,
And gentlest beauty. Hence when lightening fires
The arch of heav'n, and thunders rock the ground,
When furious whirlwinds rend the howling air,
And ocean, groaning from his lowest bed,
Heaves his tempestuous billows to the sky;
Amid the mighty uproar, while below
The nations tremble, Shakespear looks abroad
From some high cliff, superior, and enjoys
The elemental war. But Waller longs,
All on the margin of some flow'ry stream
To spread his careless limbs amid the cool
Of plantane shades, and to the list'ning deer
The tale of slighted vows and love's disdain
Resound soft-warbling all the live-long day:
Consenting Zephyr sighs; the weeping rill
Joins in his plaint, melodious; mute the groves;
And hill and dale with all their echoes mourn.
Such and so various are the tastes of men.