1774 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Waller

Robert Potter, in Poems (1774) 51n.



The writer of Mr. Waller's Life, prefix'd to his Poems, observes, "that the way of using the same initial letters in a line, which throws the verse off more easily, was first introduced by him (Waller.) And Mr. Dryden imitated it to affectation, as some others since him have also done." Happily for Poetry, Mr. Waller had read the Roman Poets, and studied the harmony of Spenser, who has scatter'd this beauty thro' his Works with an unsparing hand. Indeed there is hardly a grace in all the regions of Poetry which Mr. Dryden did not seize and improve.