1682 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Abraham Cowley

John Sheffield, in Essay upon Poetry (1682) 8.



A higher flight, and of a happier force,
Are Odes, the Muses most unruly Horse,
That bounds so fierce the Rider has no rest,
But foams at mouth, and speaks like one possest.
The Poet here must be indeed Inspired,
And not with fancy, but with fury fired.
Cowley might boast to have perform'd this part,
Had he with Nature joyn'd the rules of Art;
But ill expression gives too great Allay
To that rich Fancy which can ne're decay.