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May 11 , 2011

The Works of John Dryden, now first collected in Eighteen Volumes, Volume 11


These verses were rescued from oblivion by Mr Malone, having escaped the notice of Dryden's former editors. I have disposed them among the Epistles, that being the title which the author seems usually to have given to those copies of verses, which he sent to his friends upon their publications, and which, according to the custom of the time, were prefixed to the works to which they related. They form the second of our author's attempts at poetry hitherto discovered, the "Elegy upon Lord Hastings" being the first. The lines are distinguished by the hard and rugged versification, and strained conceit, which characterised English poetry before the Restoration. The title of Hoddesdon's book is a sufficiently odd one: "Sion and Parnassus, or Epigrams on several Texts of the Old and New Testaments," 8vo, 1650. Dryden was then a student in Trinity College, Cambridge, and about eighteen years old. The nature of the volume which called forth his poetical approbation, may lead us to suppose, that, at this time, he retained the puritanical principles in which he was doubtless educated. The verses are subscribed, J. Dryden of Trin. C.


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