John Dryden Poems

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John Dryden
John Dryden (August 19 [O.S. August 9] 1631 – May 12 [O.S. May 1] 1700) 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. Dryden was born in the village rectory of Aldwincle near Oundle in Northamptonshire, where his maternal grandfather was Rector of All Saints. He was the eldest of fourteen children born to Erasmus and Mary Dryden, Puritan landowning gentry who supported the Puritan cause and Parliament. As a boy Dryden lived in the nearby village of Titchmarsh where it is also likely that he received his first education. In 1644 he was sent to Westminster School as a King’s Scholar where his headmaster was Dr Richard Busby, a charismatic teacher and severe disciplinarian.[1] Recently enough r e-founded by Elizabeth I, Westminster during this period embraced a very different religious and political spirit encouraging royalism and high Anglicanism. Whatever Dryden’s response to this was, he clearly respected the Headmaster and would later send two of his own sons to school at Westminster. Many years after his death a house at Westminster was founded in his name.

the haunted oak
Pray why are you so bare, so bare,
Oh, bough of the old oak-tree;
And why, when I go thr... [read poem]
marriage a la mode
Why should a foolish marriage vow,
Which long ago was made,
Oblige us to each other no... [read poem]
ships that pass in the night
Out in the sky the great dark clouds are massing;
I look far out into the pregnant night,... [read poem]
we wear the mask
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,--
This debt... [read poem]
little brown baby
Little brown baby wif spa'klin' eyes,
Come to yo' pappy an' set on his knee.
What you be... [read poem]
absalom and achitophel
In pious times, ere priest-craft did begin,
Before polygamy was made a sin;
When man, on m... [read poem]
the lawyers' ways
I've been list'nin' to them lawyers
In the court house up the street,
An' I've come to... [read poem]
song (wintah, summah, snow er shine)
Wintah, summah, snow er shine,
Hit's all de same to me,
Ef only I kin call you mine,... [read poem]
the debt
This is the debt I pay
Just for one riotous day,
Years of regret and grief,
Sorrow wi... [read poem]
signs of the times
Air a-gittin' cool an' coolah,
Frost a-comin' in de night,
Hicka' nuts an' wa'nuts falli... [read poem]
a negro love song
Seen my lady home las' night,
Jump back, honey, jump back.
Hel' huh han' an' sque'z it t... [read poem]
the old front gate
W'en daih's chillun in de house,
Dey keep on a-gittin' tall;
But de folks don' seem to s... [read poem]
when de co'n pone's hot
Dey is times in life when Nature
Seems to slip a cog an' go,
Jes' a-rattlin' down creati... [read poem]
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