Thomas Humphry Ward, ed. The English Poets. 18801918. Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
Critical Introduction by Edmund W. Gosse
Wentworth Dillon, Earl of Roscommon (1633?1685)
LORD ROSCOMMON was a man of taste and judgment, who had imbibed in France a liking for Academic forms of literature, and who attempted to be to English poetry what Boileau was to French. He did not come forward as a writer till late in life, when he produced two thin quartos of frigid critical poetry, An Essay on Translated Verse, 1681, and Horaces Art of Poetry, 1684. There was little originality in these polite exercises, but they were smoothly and sensibly written, with a certain gentlemanlike austerity. Pope has noted that, in all Charles days, Roscommon only boasts unspotted lays. He was the friend of Dryden, and the admirer of Milton, whose sublimity he lauded in terms that recall the later praise of Addison.