With the rhythmic march of heroic couplets the poem then quickly escalates to an outright call for Britain "to wield / The beamy spear" and revive the "martial ardour" of its own heroic past (320).
23) The heroic couplet in particular, the privileged form of many long, complex eighteenth-century philosophical essays and argumentative poems, becomes in fact a vehicle for elaboration, explication, and modification of meaning.
John Dryden, who translated the poem into heroic couplets
, gave a judgment--"the best poem by the best poet"--that is often cited.
Laetitia Yeandle and Julia Smith discovered Traherne's unfinished poem "The Ceremonial Law," filled with 1800 lines of heroic couplets
The heroic couplet
is not the most popular measure certainly--but as I did not deviate into the other from a wish to flatter what is called public opinion--I shall quit it without further apology & take my chance once more with that versification in which I have hitherto published nothing but compositions whose former circulation is part of my present & future regret.