The piece below makes clearer and more explicit Thomas Nashe's remarks in Strange News on why Chaucer and Spenser are 'farre ouerseene' by Homer and Virgil: see G. Gregory Smith, Elizabethan Critical Essays (Oxford, 1904), II. 240.
From The First Booke of the Preservation of King Henry the vij when he was but Earle of Richmond (1599), sig. A2v:
I confesse and acknowledge that we haue many excellent and singular good Poets in this our age, as Maister Spencer, that was, Maister Gowlding, Doctor Phayer, Maister Harrington, Daniell, and diuers others whom I reuerence in that kind of prose-rythme: wherein Spencer (with offence spoken) hath surpassed them all. I would to God they had done so well in trew Hexameters: for they had then beautified our language.