By John Dryden
You charm’d me not with that fair face
Though it was all divine:
To be another’s is the grace,
That makes me wish you mine.
The Gods and Fortune take their part
Who like young monarchs fight;
And boldly dare invade that heart
Which is another’s right.
First mad with hope we undertake
To pull up every bar;
But once possess’d, we faintly make
A dull defensive war.
Now every friend is turn’d a foe
In hope to get our store:
And passion makes us cowards grow,
Which made us brave before.
Born in Northamptonshire into a political Puritan family, poet, playwright, and critic John Dryden was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. Dryden’s poetry, often shaped by heroic couplets, is steeped in classical and scientific references even as it is grounded in the political landscape of his time. Upon Charles II’s return to power in 1660, Dryden published “Astraea Redux,” a long poem in heroic couplets welcoming the king, the first of many public poems in support of the monarchy. He was appointed poet laureate in 1668, and royal historiographer in 1670.
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Back Up Quick They’re Hippies
That was the year we drove
into the commune in Cornwall.
“Jesus Jim,” mam said,
“back up quick they’re hippies.”
Through the car window,
tents, row after row, flaps open,
long-haired men and women
curled around each other like babies
and the babies themselves
wandered naked across the grass.
In the warmth of night I put feet to my plan: waited
for my brothers to sleep. They’d spent the day
sharpening their hooks, repairing the great net,
filling gourds with fresh water. They’d bundled
taro wrapped in leaves sitting below the cross seats.