Imitated Waller; but as that poet has been much excelled since, a faint copy of a faint master must strike still less. It was fortunate for his lordship, that in an age when persecution raged so fiercely against lukewarm authors, he had an intimacy with the inquisitor-general: how else would such lines as these have escaped the Bathos?
- [And wished to be regarded as his poetical successor. Witness his lordship’s Preface: “As these poems seem to begin where Mr. Waller left off, though far unequal and short of so inimitable an original; they may, however, be permitted to remain to posterity as a faithful register of the reigning beauties in the succeeding age.”
- “Heroic Love,” scene i. [Yet Dryden thus complimented him on this his “excellent tragedy:”
“Auspicious poet, wert thou not my friend,
How could I envy what I must commend!
But since ’t is Nature’s law in love and wit,
That youth should reign, and withering age submit,
With less regret those laurels I resign,
Which dying on my brows, revive on thine.”]