in point because he confesses having been seduced by Du Bartas, tells us that Spenser
had been his master in English
He regrets, indeed, comically enough, that Spenser
could not have read the rules of Bossu, but adds that ‘no man was ever born with a greater genius or more knowledge to support it.’
says, ‘There is something in Spenser
that pleases one as strongly in one's old age as it did in one's youth.
I read the Faery Queen
when I was about twelve with a vast deal of delight; and I think it gave me as much when I read it over about a year or two ago.’
wrote the most delightful of his poems in the measure of Spenser
, and Akenside show traces of him; and in our own day his influence reappears in Wordsworth
, and Keats
is, I believe, the only poet who ever found him tedious.
's mere manner has not had so many imitators as Milton
's, but no other of our poets has given an impulse, and in the right direction also, to so many and so diverse minds; above all, no other has given to so many young souls a consciousness of their wings and a delight in the use of them.
He is a standing protest against the tyranny of Commonplace, and sows the seeds of a noble discontent with prosaic views of life and the dull uses to which it may be put.
Three of Spenser
's own verses best characterize the feeling his poetry gives us:—
Among wide waves set like a little nest,
Wrapt in eternal silence far from enemies,
The world's sweet inn from pain and wearisome turmoil.
We are wont to apologize for the grossness of our favorite authors sometimes by saying that their age was to blame and not they; and the excuse is a good one, for often it is the frank word that shocks us while we tolerate