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Erato the Amorous Muse on the Death of John Dryden, Esq.

1 In the wisht Close of Evening's welcome gloom,
2 My longing steps reacht an inviting Bloom;
3 Whose untrod Paths the sadning Cypress grac't,
4 And in small Plats were softer Myrtles plac't.
5 The lofty Cedars with extended Arms,
6 Twine to keep off the force of roughest Storms;
7 And numerous tow'ring Arbourets they made,
8 The solemn Glory of the pleasing Shade:
9 On verdant Moss, Nature's rich cloth of State,
10 By a clear thrilling Stream supine I sate:
11 Upon my Hand my thoughtful Head reclin'd,
12 Sad soft Ideas entertain'd my Mind,
13 And I to sing some Lovers fate inclin'd;
14 But strait Erato, whom I did invoke,
15 Forbid my Choice, her Speech abruptly broke,
16 At last in Sighs the Interdiction spoke.
17 Ye shall no more write tender moving Strains,
18 To please the Nymphs and melt the wishing Swains
19 But to the World my Sorrows you shall tell,
20 How I have griev'd since the lost Heroe fell,
21 My darling Dryden whom I lov'd so well.
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22 He who has done such Glories to my Name,
23 Immortal as my self has made my Fame;
24 Watchful as Lovers I first saw his Fate
25 With raging Sounds Parnassus loss relate.
26 Call'd all my Sisters with my frantick Cries,
27 And every God to Join in th' Obsequies,
28 With Tears made Helycon brackish as the Seas.
29 Like a deserted Maid in Wild Despair,
30 I tore my Myrtle Wreath and flowing Hair,
31 My Mantle rent and shatter'd in the Air;
32 Then in loose Cypriss vail'd my useless Charms,
33 Sigh'd till I turn'd our Æther into Storms.
34 No more I'll wanton on our Mountains brow,
35 Nor curious Pains upon my Locks bestow;
36 In amorous Folds my Rosey Mantle twine,
37 And sooth soft Languishments in airs Divine:
38 But careless throw me in some dusky Shade,
39 Which Willows, Cypress, Yew has awful made,
40 There to my Votress Eccho I'll complain,
41 Whose Complaisance reverberates again,
42 My piercing Groans thro' every Wood and Plain.
43 Thus I and she in an Eternal round,
44 Will my celestial Griefs for Dryden's Death resound.
45 Dryden, who with such Ardour did invoke,
46 That I thro' him my greatest Raptures spoke.
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47 Whisper'd a thousand tender melting Things,
48 Till he writ Lays moving as Orpheus strings.
49 Oft I for Ink did radiant Nectar bring,
50 And gave him Quills from infant Cupid's Wing:
51 Whose gentle force did as Victorious prove,
52 As if they'd been th' immortal Shafts of Love.
53 Warm'd every Breast with a surprizing Fire,
54 And in the nicest tenderest Thoughts inspire;
55 Such Lustre still grac't his magnetick Line,
56 It was both Irresistless and Divine.
57 With what celestial Cadence doth he tell,
58 The pristine Joys of Love, e'er Mankind fell;
59 When in the blooming Grove the first kind Pair,
60 With amorous Sighs fan'd the ambrosial Air:
61 Smiling on flowry Banks supinely laid,
62 The ardent Youth prest the unblushing Maid.
63 In his soft Lines such Extacies they Boast,
64 To hear their loves Rivals the Bliss they lost;
65 When Cleopatra's Passion he adorns,
66 How Nobly Anthony the Empire scorns:
67 Dissolv'd in her kind Arms transported lay,
68 For Love's soft Joy, gave the rough Crown away.
69 Such Realms of Bliss the Hero there possest,
70 Sighing fond Vows on her returning Breast;
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71 Who reads their Languishments their Passions feel,
72 Intranc't in Joys too exquisite to tell.
73 When an incestuous Flame his Theme has been,
74 He almost charms us to forgive the Sin.
75 My favourite Ovid's strains I did improve,
76 And taught my Dryden tenderer Arts of Love;
77 Such Arts had our addressing Phoebus known,
78 Daphne, tho' coy, had not Unconquer'd flown,
79 But brought the Hero forth, and not their Crown.
80 He so advanc'd whatever I bestow'd,
81 I was Love's Muse, but he himself the God.


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Title (in Source Edition): Erato the Amorous Muse on the Death of John Dryden, Esq.
Themes: death
Genres: heroic couplet; elegy

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Egerton, Sarah Fyge, 1668-1723. Poems on Several Occasions, Together with a Pastoral. By Mrs. S. F. [poems only] London: printed, and are to be sold by J. Nutt, near Stationers-Hall, 1703, pp. 91-94. [20],117,[3],15,[1]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T125148) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [280 e.4058].)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Sarah Fyge Egerton