Chappell calls it Rowe's "celebrated song" and reports that "Goldsmith, in his preface to The Beauties of English Poetry, says, 'This, by Mr. Rowe, is better than anything of the kind in our language.'" (Vol. II, p. 493.) Horace Walpole refers to it late in the 18th century in his Letters (see vol. 8, p. 416).