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

Original Text: 
John Dryden, Examen Poeticum (London: J. Tonson, 1693). hob Fisher Rare Book Library.
2      So long delays her flow'rs to bear;
3Why warbling birds forget to sing,
5Chloris is gone; and Fate provides
6To make it spring where she resides.
7Chloris is gone, the cruel fair;
8      She cast not back a pitying eye:
9But left her lover in despair,
10      To sigh, to languish, and to die:
11Ah, how can those fair eyes endure
12To give the wounds they will not cure!
13Great god of Love, why hast thou made
14      A face that can all hearts command,
15That all religions can invade,
16      And change the laws of ev'ry land?
17Where thou hadst plac'd such pow'r before,
18Thou shouldst have made her mercy more.
19When Chloris to the temple comes,
20      Adoring crowds before her fall;
21She can restore the dead from tombs,
22      And ev'ry life but mine recall.
23I only am by love design'd
24To be the victim for mankind.


1] A musical setting of the first two stanzas, attributed to John Blow, appeared in 1699. Back to Line
4] invert: the suggestion is that winter is associated with retrogression, as the other three seasons are with advancement. Cf. Thomson, "Winter," 43. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
G. G. Falle
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.60.