7 March 1713
John Dennis, a letter to Barton Booth, dated 18 December 1714, which Dennis did not print until he attacked Pope in Remarks upon Mr. Pope's…Homer (1717), Critical Works, ii. 135-7.
You are in the right of it: Windsor Forest is a wretched Rhapsody, not worthy the Observation of a Man of Sense. I shall only take Occasion from it to display the Beauties of Cooper's-Hill, in Emulation of which it was impudently writ. The Cooper's-Hill of Sir JOHN DENHAM is a Poem upon the Prospect which that Hill affords us. Cooper's-Hill, is a Hill in Windsor-Forest, about a Mile from Egham in Surrey, about Half a Mile from the Thames, and Three Miles from Windsor.
The Conduct of Sir JOHN DENHAM in his Cooper' s-Hill, is as admirable, as that of the Author of Windsor Forest, is despicable. Sir JOHN DENHAM presents no Object to his Reader, but what is truly in the Compass of his Subject. Whereas Half the Poem of Windsor Forest has nothing in it, that is peculiar to Windsor Forest. The Objects that are presented to the Reader in this latter Poem, are for the most part trivial and trifling, as Hunting, Fishing, Setting, Shooting, and a thousand common Landskips. Whereas of a thousand Objects that Cooper's-Hill presents to the View, Sir JOHN DENHAM chuses only the most Instructive, the most Noble, and the most Magnificent; and which, at the same time, are the most Noble, and most Magnificent, which Great Britain can show: As St. Paul's, London, Windsor, Thames, the Side of Cooper's-Hill that is next to the Thames, and Runny-Mead between them, ennobled by the Grant of the Great Charter there to the People of England.