JJohn Dryden was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who dominated the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden. Walter Scott called him "Glorious John." He was made Poet Laureate in 1668.
Dryden was born in the village rectory of Aldwincle near Thrapston in Northamptonshire, where his maternal grandfather was Rector of All Saints. He was the eldest of fourteen children born to Erasmus Dryden and wife Mary Pickering, paternal grandson of Sir Erasmus Dryden, 1st Baronet (1553–1632) and wife Frances Wilkes, Puritan landowning ... more »
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John Dryden Poems
Happy The Man
Happy the man, and happy he alone, He who can call today his own: He who, secure within, can say, Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.
Ah, How Sweet It Is To Love!
AH, how sweet it is to love! Ah, how gay is young Desire! And what pleasing pains we prove When we first approach Love's fire!
Can Life Be A Blessing
Can life be a blessing, Or worth the possessing, Can life be a blessing if love were away? Ah no! though our love all night keep us waking,
Mac Flecknoe: A Satire Upon The True-Blu...
All human things are subject to decay, And, when Fate summons, monarchs must obey: This Flecknoe found, who, like Augustus, young Was call'd to empire, and had govern'd long:
A Song For St. Cecilia's Day
FROM harmony, from heavenly harmony, This universal frame began: When nature underneath a heap Of jarring atoms lay,
Dreams are but interludes which Fancy makes; When monarch Reason sleeps, this mimic wakes: Compounds a medley of disjointed things,
Ask Not The Cause Why Sullen Spring
Ask not the cause why sullen spring So long delays her flow'rs to bear; Why warbling birds forget to sing, And winter storms invert the year?
I FEED a flame within, which so torments me That it both pains my heart, and yet contents me: 'Tis such a pleasing smart, and I so love it, That I had rather die than once remove it.
Fair Iris I Love And Hourly I Die
Fair Iris I love and hourly I die, But not for a lip nor a languishing eye: She's fickle and false, and there I agree; For I am as false and as fickle as she:
Alexander's Feast; Or, The Power Of Musi...
'Twas at the royal feast for Persia won By Philip's warlike son— Aloft in awful state The godlike hero sate
Calm Was The Even, And Clear Was The Sky
Calm was the even, and clear was the sky, And the new budding flowers did spring, When all alone went Amyntas and I To hear the sweet nightingale sing;
Farewell Ungrateful Traitor
Farewell ungrateful traitor, Farewell my perjured swain, Let never injured creature Believe a man again.
An Ode, On The Death Of Mr. Henry Purcel...
Late Servant to his Majesty, and Organist of the Chapel Royal, and of St. Peter's Westminster I
Song From An Evening's Love
After the pangs of a desperate lover, When day and night I have sighed all in vain, Ah, what a pleasure it is to discover In her eyes pity, who causes my pain!
Comments about John Dryden
Happy The Man
Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own:
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.
Be fair or foul or rain or shine
The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine.
Not Heaven itself upon the past has power,
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.