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TO MY LORD PROTECTOR,
Highness and this Nation.
For women, born to be control'd,
All this with indignation spoke,
So the tall stag, upon the brink
Let partial spirits stili aloud complain,
Hither th' oppress'd shall henceforth resort, Justice to crave, and succour, at your court; And then your highness, not for our's alone, But for the world's protector shall be known.
MARRIAGE OF THE DWARFS.
Thrice happy is that humble pair,
To him the fairest nymphs do show
Ah! Chloris! that kind Nature thus
Fame, swifter than your winged navy, flies
Angels and we have this prerogative,
Our little world, the image of the great,
As Egypt does not on the clouds rely,
| Your never failing sword made war to cease, But to the Nile owes more than to the sky;
And now you heal us with the acts of peace; So, what our Earth, and what our Hearen, denies, | Our minds with bounty and with awe engage, Our ever-constant friend, the sea, supplies.
Invite affection, and restrain our rage. The taste of hot Arabia's spice we know,
Less pleasure take brave minds in battles won, Free from the scorching sun that makes it grow : Than in restoring such as are undone : Without the worm, in Persian silks we shine; Tigers have courage, and the rugged bear, And, without planting, drink of every vine. But man alone can, whom he conquers, spare. To dig for wealth, we weary not our limbs ; To pardon, willing, and to punish, loth, Gold, though the heaviest metal, hither swims. You strike with one hand, but you heal with both; Ours is the harvest where the Indians mow, Lifting up all that prostrate lie, you grieve We plough the deep, and reap what others sow. You cannot make the dead again to live. Things of the noblest kind our own soil breeds; When Fate or crrour had our age misled, Stout are our men, and warlike are our steeds : And o'er this nation such confusion spread; Rome, though her eagle through the world had flown, The only cure, which could from Heaven coine down, Could never make this island all her own.
Was so mach power and piety in one.
Here the third Edward, and the Black Prince too, One! whose extraction from an ancient line
The noblest rest secured in your blood.
A mind proportion'd to such things as these ;
How such a ruling sp’rit you could restrain,
Your private life did a just pattern give,
race unconquer'd, by their clime made bold, But when your troubled country call'd you forth, The Caledonians, arm’d with want and cold, Your flaming courage and your matchless worth, Have, by a fate indulgent to your fame,
Dazzling the eyes of all that did pretend,
To fierce contention gave a prosperous end.
Finds no distemper while 'tis chang'd by you ;
The rising sun night's vulgar lights destroys.
Run, with amazement we should read your story : Which in our senate hath allow'd them place. But living virtue, all achievements past,
Meets envy still, to grapple with at last.
This Cæsar found; and that ungrateful age,
But cut the bond of union with that stroke.
That sun once set, a thousand meaner stars
To such a tempest as now threatens all,
Did not your mighty arm prevent the fall
If Rome's great senate could not wield that sword, Sbe from her fellow-provinces would go,
Which of the conquer'd world had made them lord; Rather than hazard to have you her foe.
What hope had ours, while yet their power was new,
To rule victorious armies, but by you ? In our late fight, when cannons did diffuse, Preventing posts, the terrour and the news, You ! that had taught them to subdue their foes, Our neighbour princes trembled at their roar : Could order teach, and their high spirits compose : But our conjunction makes them tremble more. To every duty could their minds engage,
Provoke their courage, and command their rage.
So, when a lion shakes his dreadful mane,
Verse, thus design'd, has no ill fate,
If it arrive but at the date
THE STORY OF
As the vex'd world, to find repose, at last
PHEBUS AND DAPHNE
THyrsis, a youth of the inspired train,
Fair Sacharissa lov'd, but lov'd in vain : Tell of towns storm'd, of armies over-run,
Like Phæbus sung the no less amorous boy; And mighty kingdoms by your conduct won;
Like Daphne she, as lovely, and as coy! How, while you thunder'd, clouds of dust did choke With numbers he the flying nymph pursues; Contending troops, and seas lay hid in smoke.
With numbers, such as Phoebus' self might use!
Such is the chase, when Love and Fancy leads, Illustrious acts high raptures do infuse,
O'er craggy mountains, and through flowery meads; And every conqueror creates a Muse :
Invok'd to testify the lover's care, Here in low strains your milder deeds we sing :
Or form some image of his cruel fair. But there, my lord! we'll bays and olive bring
Urg'd with his fury, like a wounded deer,
O’er these he fled; and now approaching near, To crown your head, while you in triumph ride
Had reach'd the nymph with his harmonious lay, O'er vanquish'd nations, and the sea beside ;
Whom all his charms could not incline to stay. While all your neighbour princes unto you,
Yet, what he sung in his immortal strain,
Though unsuccessful, was not sung in vain:
Beauty like a shadow flies,
Phyllis ! to this truth we owe
Nor all appear, among those few,
you Henceforth, to be of princes born. I can describe the shady grove, Where your lov'd mother slept with Jove, And yet excuse the faultless dame, Caught with her spouse's shape and name : Thy matchless form will credit bring To all the wonders I shall sing.
ON A GIRDLE. That, which her slender waist confin'd, Shall now my joyful temples bind : No monarch but would give his crown, His arms might do what this has done.
It was my Heaven's extremest sphere, The pale which held that lovely deer : My joy, my grief, my hope, my love, Did all within this circle move!
John Dryden was born, probably in 1631, in post of poet-laureat, to which was added the sinethe parish of Aldwincle- Allsaints, in Northamp- cure place of bistoriographer royal ; the joint sala tonshire. His father possessed a small estate, ries of which amounted to 2001. acted as a justice of the peace during the usurp The tragedies composed by Dryden were written ation, and seems to have been a presbyterian. in his earlier periods, in rhyme, which circumstance John, at a proper age, was sent to Westminster probably contributed to the poetical rant by which school, of which Busby was then master ; and was they were too much characterised. For the corthence elected to a scholarship in Trinity college, rection of this fault, Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, Cambridge. He took his degrees of bachelor and in conjunction with other wits, wrote the celebrated master of arts in the university ; but though he had burlesque drama, entitled “ The Rehearsal," of written two short copies of verses about the time of which Dryden, under the name of Bayes, was made his admission, his name does not occur among the the hero; and, in order to point the ridicule, his academical poets of this period. By his father's dress, phraseology, and mode of recitation, were death, in 1654, he succeeded to the estate, and, re- exactly imitated by the actor. It does not, howmoving to the metropolis, he made his entrance into ever, appear that his solid reputation as a poet was public life, under the auspices of his kinsman, injured by this attack. He had the candour to acSir Gilbert Pickering, one of Cromwell's council knowledge that several of the strokes were just, and house of lords, and staunch to the principles and he wisely refrained from making any direct then predominant. On the death of Cromwell, reply. Dryden wrote some “ Heroic Stanzas,” strongly In 1681, and, as it is asserted, at the king's el. marked by the loftiness of expression and variety of press desire, he wrote his famous political poem, imagery which characterised his mature entitled “ Absolom and Achitophel ;" in which cfforts. They were, however, criticised with some the incidents in the life of David were adapted to severity.
those of Charles II. in relation to the Duke of At the Restoration, Dryden lost no time in Monmouth and the Earl of Shaftesbury. Its obliterating former stains; and, as far as it was poetry and its severity caused it to be read with great possible, rendered himself peculiarly distinguished eagerness; and as it raised the author to high fafor the base servility of his strains. He greeted the vour with the court party, so it involved him in irking's return by a poem, entitled “ Astræa Redux,” reconcilable enmity with its opponents. These which was followed by “ A Panegyric on the feelings were rendered more acute by his “ Medal, Coronation :" nor did Lord Chancellor Clarendon a Satire on Sedition," written in the same year, on escape his encomiastic lines. His marriage with occasion of a medal struck by the whigs, when a Lady Elizabeth Howard, daughter of the Earl of grand jury returned Ignoramus to an indictment Berkshire, is supposed to have taken place in 1665. preferred against Lord Shaftesbury, for high treaAbout this time he first appears as a writer for the The rancour of this piece is not easily to be stage, in which quality he composed several pieces ; paralleled among party poems. In 1682, he puband though he did not display himself as a prime lished “ Mac-Flecknoe," a short piece, throwing favourite of the dramatic muse, his facility of har- ridicule upon his very unequal rival, Shadwell. monious versification, and his splendour of poetic In the same year, one of his most serious poems, diction, gained him admirers. In 1667 he pub- the “ Religio Laici,” made its appearance. Its lished a singular poem, entitled “ Annus Mira- purpose was to give a compendious view of the arbilis," the subjects of which were, the naval war guments for revealed religion, and to ascertain in with the Dutch, and the fire of London. It was what the authority of revelation essentially consists. written in four-line stanzas, a form which has since Soon after this time he ceased to write for the gone into disuse in heroic subjects; but the piece stage. His dramatic vein was probably exhausted, abounded in images of genuine poetry, though in- and his circumstances were distressed. To this petermixed with many extravagances.
riod Mr. Malone refers a letter written by him to At this period of his life Dryden became pro- Hyde, Earl of Rochester, in which, with modest fessionally a writer for the stage, having entered dignity, he pleads merit enough not to deserve to into a contract with the patentees of the King's starve, and requests some small employment in the Theatre, to supply them with three plays in a customs or excise, or, at least, the payment of half year, upon the condition of being allowed the profit a year's pension for the supply of his present neces. of one share and a quarter out of twelve shares and sities. He never obtained any of the requested three quarters, into which the theatrical stock was places, and was doomed to find the booksellers his divided. Of the plays written upon the above con best patrons. tract, a small proportion bave kept their place on Charles II. died in 1685, and was succeeded by the stage, or in the closet. On the death of his brother James II., who openly declared his atSir W. Davenant, in 1668, Dryden obtained the tachment to the religion of Rome. It was not long