Verse > John Dryden > Poems
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John Dryden (1631–1700).  The Poems of John Dryden.  1913.
 
Songs from the Plays
Song of the Zambra Dance, from The Conquest of Granada
 
1
BENEATH a Myrtle shade
Which Love for none but happy Lovers made,
I slept, and straight my Love before me brought
Phillis the object of my waking thought;
Undres’d she came my flames to meet,        5
While Love strow’d flow’rs beneath her feet;
Flow’rs, which so press’d by her, became more sweet.
 
2
From the bright Visions Head
A careless vail of Lawn was loosely spread:
From her white temples fell her shaded hair,        10
Like cloudy sunshine not too brown nor fair:
Her hands, her lips did love inspire;
Her ev’ry grace my heart did fire:
But most her eyes which languish’d with desire.
 
3
Ah, Charming fair, said I,
        15
How long can you my bliss and yours deny?
By Nature and by love this lonely shade
Was for revenge of suffring Lovers made:
Silence and shades with love agree:
Both shelter you and favour me;        20
You cannot blush because I cannot see.
 
4
No, let me dye, she said,
Rather than loose the spotless name of Maid:
Faintly methought she spoke, for all the while
She bid me not believe her, with a smile.        25
Then dye, said I, she still deny’d:
And is it thus, thus, thus she cry’d
You use a harmless Maid, and so she dy’d!
 
5
I wak’d, and straight I knew
I lov’d so well it made my dream prove true:        30
Fancy, the kinder Mistress of the two,
Fancy had done what Phillis wou’d not do!
Ah, Cruel Nymph, cease your disdain,
While I can dream you scorn in vain;
Asleep or waking you must ease my pain.        35
 
 
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