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Song, from An Evening's Love
by John Dryden

English text, dramatist, literary critic, translator, poet laureate and royal historiographer. Dryden's immense stature upon the literary horizon of his time was so great that his age has often been called 'The Age of Dryden'. His first major works were works of poetry: the Heroique Stanza's (1658) written on the death of Cromwell and the celebrations of King James II's restoration; the Astraea Redux (1660) and the To His Sacred Majesty (1661). These were followed, in 1667, by the thrice celebratory work Annus Mirabilis (1667), written upon the occasion of two English victories over the Dutch fleet and the extinguishing of the Great Fire of London. Other works from Dryden's earlier period were mainly for the theatre. These include heroic works such as The Indian Queen (1664), The Indian Emporer (1665) and The Conquest of Granada (1669); comic works: The Wild Gallant (1663), The Rival Ladies (1664) and An Evening's Love (1668); and tragi-comic works. These latter include Secret Love (1667), Marriage a la Mode (1672) and The Assignation (1672). Dryden also adapted works by Shakespeare - The Tempest (1667) and Troilus and Cressida (1679) - and Milton (Paradise Lost) and wrote a number of critical texts, including Of Dramatick Poesie (1668), A Defence of an Essay (1668) and Of Heroic Plays (1672).


Song, from An Evening's Love
by John Dryden

After the pangs of a desperate lover,
When day and night I have sighed all in vain,
Ah, what a pleasure it is to discover
In her eyes pity, who causes my pain!

When with unkindness our love at a stand is,
And both have punished ourselves with the pain,
Ah, what a pleasure the touch of her hand is!
Ah, what a pleasure to touch it again!

When the denial comes fainter and fainter,
And her eyes give what her tongue does deny,
Ah, what a trembling I feel when I venture!
Ah, what a trembling does usher my joy!

When, with a sigh, she accords me the blessing,
And her eyes twinkle 'twixt pleasure and pain,
Ah, what a joy 'tis beyond all expressing!
Ah, what a joy to hear `Shall we again!'


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