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What subtle witchcraft man constrains
May not a prison, or a grave,
How happy he that loves not lives!
: Secure from low and private ends,
His father and son.
Love, making all things else his foes,
Well may'st thou keep this world in awe; religion, wisdom, honour, law,
the tyrant in his triumph draw.
'T is he commands the powers above;
To him doth his feign'd mother yield;
He clips Hope's wings, whose airy bliss much higher than fruition is,
but less than nothing, if it miss.
When matches love alone projects,
whilst those conjunctions prove the best
Tho' Sol'mon with a thousand wives
Old Rome of children took no care;
they with their friends their beds did share, secure t'adopt a hopeful heir.
Love drowsy days and stormy nights
Well-chosen friendship, the most noble
The wolf, the lion, and the bear,
But man's that savage beast, whose mind,
Morpheus! the humble good that dwells
hates gilded roofs and beds of down,
come, I say, thou pow'rful god,
yet of death it bears a taste,
and both are the same thing at last.'
one of the most eminent poets that this country has produced, was son of Erasmus Dryden of Tichmersh in Northamptonshire, and born at Aldwincle, in that county. Being of a genteel family which had long been resident at Canons-Ashby, great attention was paid to his education. He was first put under the care of Dr. Busby at Westminster-school, where he produced some promising verses. In 1650 he became a student of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took a bachelor's degree, and occasionally produced fugitive poems, which exhibited no extraordinary indications of genius. In 1663 he commenced dramatic writer, but with bad success. Yet, not discouraged, he continued to write, and composed, in all, not less than 28 pieces, of various merit: yet scarcely one besides his "All for Love" has been retained upon the stage. His prefaces, however, are valuable pieces of criticism, while his dedications shew that he sacrificed rather to Pluto than to Apollo. He succeeded to the appointment of Poet Laureat, but his rising celebrity was subjected to the envy of the Earl of Rochester, who advised Mr. Crowne to write a mask for the court, which was properly Dryden's province. He was satirised also by the Duke of Buckingham in that admired piece called the "Rehearsal." Dryden however did not suffer these attacks to pass with impunity, for in 1679, he produced his Essay on Satire, containing severe reflections on the Earl of Rochester and the Dutchess of Portsmouth, and in 1681, heintroduced the Earl of Buckingham as Zimri in his Absalom and Achitophel, a portrait calculated to repay with interest, the ridicule thrown on Dryden in the No. 77.