1700 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Dryden

Bainbrigg Buckeredge, "On Seeing Mr. Dryden's Picture, at Sir Godfrey Kneller's, drawn with the Bays in his Hand" 1700; Nichols, Select Collection of Poems (1780-82) 5:158-59.



Nay, sure 'tis he! the living colours move,
And strike our souls with wonder and with love!
Has his soft lyre dissolv'd Death's fatal chain,
And given our Orpheus to the world again?
Such is thy art, great Kneller, as relieves
His mourning friends, and into joy deceives.
They who beneath the heaviest sorrow bend,
Who grieve not for the Poet, but the Friend,
When they behold this piece, their tears restrain,
And doubt a while if they lament in vain.
So those whom Fate destroys, thy hand can save,
And lengthen out a life beyond the grave.
Oh! do thou place on Dryden's learned brow
The sacred Bays; for none dare envy now.
Thus He to future ages shall be shown,
Immortal in Thy Works, as in His Own.