Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
John Dryden. 1631–1700
  
402. Song to a Fair Young Lady,
going out of the Town in the Spring
  
ASK not the cause why sullen Spring 
  So long delays her flowers to bear; 
Why warbling birds forget to sing, 
  And winter storms invert the year: 
Chloris is gone; and fate provides         5
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:  10
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,  15
  And change the laws of every land? 
Where thou hadst plac'd such power before, 
  Thou shouldst have made her mercy more. 
 
When Chloris to the temple comes, 
  Adoring crowds before her fall;  20
She can restore the dead from tombs 
  And every life but mine recall. 
I only am by Love design'd 
To be the victim for mankind. 
 
 
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