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.
More By This Poet
To the Memory of Mr. Oldham
Farewell, too little and too lately known,
Whom I began to think and call my own;
For sure our souls were near ally'd; and thine
Cast in the same poetic mould with mine.
One common note on either lyre did strike,
And knaves and fools...
Song: “You charm'd me not with that fair face”
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.