Song: Fair Iris I love and hourly I die

By John Dryden 1631–1700 John Dryden

from Amphitryon

Fair Iris I love and hourly I die,
But not for a lip nor a languishing eye:
She's fickle and false, and there I agree;
For I am as false and as fickle as she:
We neither believe what either can say;
And, neither believing, we neither betray.

'Tis civil to swear and say things, of course;
We mean not the taking for better or worse.
When present we love, when absent agree;
I think not of Iris, nor Iris of me:
The legend of love no couple can find
So easy to part, or so equally join'd.

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Poet John Dryden 1631–1700

POET’S REGION England

Subjects Relationships, Living, Disappointment & Failure, Love, Men & Women, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Couplet, Rhymed Stanza

 John  Dryden

Biography

After John Donne and John Milton, John Dryden was the greatest English poet of the seventeenth century. After William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson, he was the greatest playwright. And he has no peer as a writer of prose, especially literary criticism, and as a translator. Other figures, such as George Herbert or Andrew Marvell or William Wycherley or William Congreve, may figure more prominently in anthologies and literary . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Living, Disappointment & Failure, Love, Men & Women, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION England

Poetic Terms Couplet, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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