1697 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Dryden

Henry St. John, "To Mr. Dryden" Works of Virgil (1697) sig. t3v.



No undisputed Monarch Govern'd yet
With Universal Sway the Realms of Wit:
Nature cou'd never such Expence afford,
Each several Province own'd a several Lord.
A Poet then had his Poetick Wife,
One Muse embrac'd, and Married for his Life.
By the stale thing his appetite was cloy'd,
His Fancy lessned, and his Fire destroy'd.
But Nature grown extravagantly kind,
With all her Treasures did adorn your Mind.
The different Powers were then united found,
And you Wit's Universal Monarch Crown'd.
Your Mighty Sway your great Desert secures,
And ev'ry Muse and ev'ry Grace is yours.
To none confin'd, by turns you all enjoy,
Sated with this, you to another flye.
So Sultan-like in your Seraglio stand,
While wishing Muses wait for your Command.
Thus no decay, no want of vigour find,
Sublime your Fancy, boundless is your Mind.
Not all the blasts of time can do you wrong,
Young spight of Age, in spight of Weakness strong.
Time like Alcides, strikes you to the ground,
You like Anteaus from each fall rebound.