1777 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Dryden

Neuter, "Verses written on Dryden's Poems in the Year 1777" Gentleman's Magazine 60 (September 1790) 842-43.



If Pope in wit, in taste, in judgment reigns,
Poetic Genius beams in Dryden's strains!
The power of musick who like Dryden sung?
For Love his ready lyre was always strung.
Religious arguments he rang'd in rhyme,
And bade ev'n jarring Controversy chime.
Now hear him politicks discuss in verse;
And now a sad, or witty tale rehearse:
Paint a wild faction, or a furious sect,
With easy satire where we least expect:
Now sweetly trifle, and now soar aloft,
Profoundly learned, but in numbers soft.
Such Ovid was, and favour'd of the Nine;
O Dryden! Ovid's various powers were thine.
Your common errors let the Critick scan;
You knew, describ'd, and touch'd the heart of man.