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Young eaglet, who thy nest thus soon forsook, againe have the happiness to kiss your faire So lofty and divine a course hast took hand; but that is a message I would not so As all admire, before the down begin willingly do by letter, as by word of mouth. To peep, as yet, upon thy smoother chin; This is a point, I must confesse, I could willAnd, making heaven thy aim, hast bad the

ingly dwell longer on; and in this case what

ever I say you may confidently take for gosgrace

pell. But I must hasten. And indeed, MaTo look the Sun of Righteousness i'th' face.

dame, (beloved I had almost sayd,) hee had What may we hope, if thou go'st on thus fast! need hasten who treats of you; for to speake Scriptures at first; enthusiasms at last !

fully to every part of your excellencyes, reThou hast commenc'd, betimes, a saint, go. quires a longer houre then most persons have on,

allotted them. But, in a word, your selfe hath Mingling diviner streams with Helicon. 20 been the best expositor upon the text of your That they who view what Epigrams here be,

own worth, in that admirable comment you May learn to make like, in just praise of thee.

wrote upon it;

I

meane your incomparable letReader, I've done, nor longer will withhold

ter. By all that 's good, (and you, Madame, Thy greedy eyes; looking on this pure gold

are a great part of my oath,) it hath put mee Thou 'lt know adult'rate copper, which, like

so farre besides my selfe, that I have scarce

patience to write prose, and my pen is stealing this,

into verse every time I kisse your letter. I Will only serve to be a foil to his.

am sure the poor paper smarts for my idolatry; which by wearing it continually neere my

brest, will at last be burnt and martyrd in LETTER TO MADAME HONOR

those flames of adoration which it hath kindled DRYDEN

in mee. But I forgett, Madame, what rarityes

your letter came fraught with, besides words. [This letter was written by Dryden, while a

You are such a deity that commands worship student at Cambridge, to his cousin Honor

by provideing the sacrifice. You are pleasd,

Madame, to force me to write by sending me Dryden, who was then about eighteen years old. She never married, and in her later

materialls, and compell me to my greatest

years is said to have lived with her brother, John

happinesse. Yet, though I highly value your Driden of Chesterton, to whom our author, in

magnificent presente, pardon mee, if I must tell 1699, addressed one of his best poetical epis

the world they are imperfect emblems of your tles. See p. 784, below.

beauty; for the white and red of waxe and paper

are but shaddowes of that vermillion and snow The letter was first printed by Malone, from

in your lips and forehead; and the silver of the original manuscript, now lost. The transcript below follows strictly Malone's text,

the inkehorne, if it presume to vye whitenesse which very properly preserves Dryden's vaga

with your purer skinne, must confesse it selfe ries of spelling.]

blacker then the liquor it containes. What then

do I more then retrieve your own guifts, and TO THE FAIRE HANDS OF MADAME HONOR

present you with that paper, adulterated with

blotts, which you gave spotlesse ? DRYDEN THESE CRAVE ADMITTANCE Camb. May. 23, 16[55].

For, since 't was mine, the white hath lost MADAME,

its hiew, If you have received the lines I sent by the To show 't was n'ere it selfe, but whilst in reverend Levite, I doubt not but they have

you: exceedingly wrought upon you; for beeing so The virgin waxe hath blusht it selfe to red, longe in a clergy-man's pocket, assuredly they Since it with mee hath lost its maydenhead. have acquired more sanctity than theire authour You, fairest nymph, are waxe: oh! may you meant them. Alasse, Madame! for ought I

bee know, they may become a sermon ere they As well in softnesse, as in purity! could arrive at you; and believe it, haveing you for the text, it could scarcely proove bad,

Till fate and your own happy choice reveale, if it light upon one that could handle it in

Whom you so farre shall blesse, to make differently. But I am so miserable a preacher, that though I have so sweet and copious a subject, I still fall short in my expressions; and Fairest Valentine, the unfeigned wishe of your instead of an use of thanksgiving, I am allways

bumble votary. makeing one of comfort, that I may one day

Jo. DRYDEN.

your seale.

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CONSECRATED TO THE GLORIOUS MEMORY OF HIS MOST SERENE AND

RENOWN'D HIGHNESS OLIVER, LATE LORD PROTECTOR OF THIS COMMONWEALTH, &C. WRITTEN AFTER THE CELEBRATION OF HIS FUNERAL

[Cromwell died on September 3, 1658, and was buried with great pomp on November 23. Dryden therefore wrote the following poem, his first important work, at the close of 1658, when he was already in his twenty-eighth year. By his choice of stanza, and by his comparatively simple style, he shows that he is now influenced by Davenant quite as much as by Cowley.

This poem was published twice in 1659: separately, with a title-page reading, A Poem upon the Death of his Late Highness Oliver, Lord Protector of England, Scotland, f Ireland, written by Mr. Dryden. London, Printed for William Wilson; and, with poems by Waller and Sprat, in a volume entitled, Three Poems upon the Death of his late Highnesse Oliver, Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland, printed by the same publisher. General probability, confirmed by one significant variation in text (see note on line 56), points to the separate edition as the original one ; the poem would be likely to appear first by itself rather than together with work by other authors. In 1682 some enemies of Dryden reprinted the Three Poems volume, with a title-page reading, Three Poems upon the Death of the Late Usurper Oliver Cromwel.

The above heading is taken from the original Three Poems volume, the text of which was probably revised by Dryden from the earlier edition.]

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Yet 't is our duty, and our interest too,
Such monuments as we can build, to

raise;
Lest all the world prevent what we should

do, And claim a title in him by their praise.

Fortune (that easy mistress of the young,
But to her ancient servants coy and

hard)
Him, at that age, her favorites rank'd

among, When she her best-lov'd Pompey did dis

card.

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XXXVII

XXXVI
No civil broils have since his death arose,

But faction now by habit does obey;
And wars have that respect for his repose,
As winds for halcyons, when they breed at

sea.

His ashes in a peaceful urn shall rest;
His name a great example stands, to

show
How strangely high endeavors may be blest,

Where piety and valor jointly go.

ASTRÆA REDUX

A POEM ON THE HAPPY RESTORATION AND RETURN OF HIS SACRED

MAJESTY CHARLES THE SECOND

30

Jam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna.

- VIRGIL. [Charles landed at Dover on May 25, 1660, and Dryden's poem must have been composed soon after that date. It was published in the same year by Herringman, who remained Dryden's publisher until 1679. In 1688 this poem was reprinted for Herringman, in a quarto volume, together with To his Sacred Majesty, To my Lord Chancellor, and Annus Mirabilis. There are no significant variant readings. The present edition follows the text of 1660.] Now with a general peace the world was Youth, that with joys had unacquainted blest,

been, While ours, a world divided from the rest, Envied

gray

hairs that once good days had A dreadful quiet felt, and worser far

seen; Then arms, a sullen interval of war: We thought our sires, not with their own Thus when black clouds draw down the

content, lab'ring skies,

Had, ere we came to age, our portion spent. Ere yet abroad the winged thunder flies, Nor could our nobles hope their bold atAn horrid stillness first invades the ear,

tempt, And in that silence we the tempest fear. Who ruin'd crowns, would coronets exTh' ambitious Swede, like restless billows

empt: toss'd,

For when by their designing leaders taught On this hand gaining what on that he To strike at pow'r which for themselves lost,

they sought, Tho' in his life he blood and ruin breath'd, The vulgar, guli'd into rebellion, arm’d; To his now guideless kingdom peace be- Their blood to action by the prize was queath'd.

warm'd. And Heaven, that seem'd regardless of our The sacred purple then and scarlet gown, fate,

Like sanguine dye, to elephants was shown. For France and Spain did miracles create; Thus when the bold Typhoeus scald the Such mortal quarrels to compose in peace, As nature bred, and int’rest did encrease. And forc'd great Jove from his own heaven We sigh’d to hear the fair Iberian bride

to fly, Must grow a lily to the lily's side,

(What king, what crown from treason's While our cross stars denied us Charles his

reach is free, bed,

If Jove and heaven can violated be?) Whom our first flames and virgin love did The lesser gods, that shar'd his prosp'rous wed.

state, For his long absence Church and State did All suffer'd in the exil'd Thund'rer's fate. groan;

The rabble now such freedom did enjoy, Madness the pulpit, faction seiz'd the As winds at sea, that use it to destroy: throne:

Blind as the Cyclops, and as wild as he, Experienc'd age in deep despair was lost, They own'd a lawless salvage liberty, ? To see the rebel thrive, the loyal cross'd: Like that our painted ancestors so priz'd

10

sky,

40

20

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