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Poem by John Dryden


The Beautiful Lady of the May


I.

A quire of bright beauties in spring did appear,
To choose a May-lady to govern the year;
All the nymphs were in white, and the shepherds in green,
The garland was given, and Phillis was queen;
But Phillis refused it, and sighing did say,
I'll not wear a garland while Pan is away.

II.

While Pan and fair Syrinx are fled from our shore,
The Graces are banished, and Love is no more:
The soft god of pleasure that warmed our desires
Has broken his bow, and extinguished his fires,
And vows that himself and his mother will mourn,
Till Pan and fair Syrinx in triumph return.

III.

Forbear your addresses, and court us no more,
For we will perform what the Deity swore:
But, if you dare think of deserving our charms,
Away with your sheephooks, and take to your arms;
Then laurels and myrtles your brows shall adorn,
When Pan and his son and fair Syrinx return. 



John Dryden


John Dryden's other poems:
  1. Epilogue to Henry II
  2. On Mrs. Margaret Paston, of Barningham, in Norfolk
  3. Epitaph on a Nephew in Catworth Church, Huntingdonshire
  4. On the Monument of the Marquis of Winchester
  5. Upon Young Mr. Rogers, of Gloucestershire


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