John Dryden was the most illustrious poet of his day; the publication of his Works of Virgil was nothing less than a national event. He was in the public eye for some forty years, holding positions at court for a long period. Dryden wrote more, and in more genres than any of his contemporaries, was praised for his bold, straightforward, and energetic style, and produced the first body of what we now call "criticism" in English.
This new selection, prepared by the eminent Dryden scholar Keith Walker, represents the full range of Dryden's poetic talent, and pays particular attention to his translations, which formed the backbone of his poetic output. These translations more than anything re-energized English verse and pointed to new possiblities for later poets.
From Absalom and Achitophel
The Latter Part of the Third Book of Lucretius
The First Book of Ovids Metamorphoses
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Absalom and Achitophel Achilles Aeacus Aeneas Aeneid Ajax Ancaeus arms bear behold betwixt blood born breast breath Caeneus called cast Ceyx Cinyras cried crime cursed death decree dream E'en earth Euryalus eyes Fables face fair fame fate father fear fight fire flame flood force goddess gods grace grief ground hand haste head heard heart heaven honour husband impious Iphis Jebusites John Dryden Jove king kiss labouring light live lord MacFlecknoe maid Metamorphoses mind Mopsus mortal mother night Nisus Nisus and Euryalus numbers nymph o'er once pain pious Pirithous poems poet praise Priam prince prize pursued race rage rest Rhoetus sacred Satires of Juvenal seas Shadwell shame shore sighed sight sire skies slain sleep soul stood sword tears thee Thomas Shadwell thou thought trembling Trojan Troy Twas vows wife wind wings wound wretch youth