Song to a Fair Young Lady Going out of Town in the Spring

By John Dryden 1631–1700 John Dryden
Ask not the cause why sullen spring
         So long delays her flow'rs to bear;
Why warbling birds forget to sing,
         And winter storms invert the year?
Chloris is gone; and Fate provides
To make it spring where she resides.

Chloris is gone, the cruel fair;
         She cast not back a pitying eye:
But left her lover in despair,
         To sigh, to languish, and to die:
Ah, how can those fair eyes endure
To give the wounds they will not cure!

Great god of Love, why hast thou made
         A face that can all hearts command,
That all religions can invade,
         And change the laws of ev'ry land?
Where thou hadst plac'd such pow'r before,
Thou shouldst have made her mercy more.

When Chloris to the temple comes,
         Adoring crowds before her fall;
She can restore the dead from tombs,
         And ev'ry life but mine recall.
I only am by love design'd
To be the victim for mankind.

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Poet John Dryden 1631–1700


Subjects God & the Divine, Death, Men & Women, Sorrow & Grieving, Relationships, Nature, Separation & Divorce, Love, Living, Religion, Spring, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Unrequited Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love

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 John  Dryden


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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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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