1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Waller

Bryan Waller Procter, in Effigies Poeticae, or, the Portraits of the British Poets (1824) 57.



From a Picture by Jansen, in the Collection of the Rev. Edward Waller.

The upper part of the face of WALLER has an elegant and mild expression, but the lower part is not good. The whole gives no the idea of a timid mind. There is an uncertain character about the eye, and a mean look about the mouth, which are not the usual marks of a poet. Neither was Waller a high poet. He has been called by some person (and since that, followed by fifty others) the "refiner" of English verse! He was a refiner, with a vengeance. He wrote later than Milton, and wrote differently, as every body knows: — but that his verse had a tithe of the refinement of Milton, or a hundredth part of his poetry, would be utterly new to us, who do not respect things because of their novelty only. His little song, however, of "Go, lovely rose," is entirely graceful.