by: John Dryden
- LL human things are subject to
- And, when fate summons, monarchs must obey.
- This Flecknoe found, who, like Augustus, young
- Was called to empire, and had governed long;
- In prose and verse was found without dispute,
- Through all the realms of Nonsense, absolute.
- This agèd prince, now flourished in peace,
- And blessed with issue of a large increase,
- Worn out with business, did at length debate
- To settle the succession of the state;
- And, pondering which of all his sons was fit
- To reign, and wage immortal war with wit,
- Cried,--"'Tis resolved! for nature pleads, that he
- Should only rule, who most resembles me.
- Shadwell alone my perfect image bears,
- Mature in dulness from his tender years;
- Shadwell alone, of all my sons, is he,
- Who stands confirmed in full stupidity.
- The rest to some faint meaning make pretence,
- But Shadwell never deviates into sense;
- Some beams of wit on other souls may fall,
- Strike through, and make a lucid interval;
- But Shadwell's genuine night admits no ray,
- His rising fogs prevail upon the day.
- Besides, his goodly fabric fills the eye,
- And seems designed for thoughtless majesty;
- Thoughtless as monarch oaks, that shade the plain,
- And, spread in solemn state, supinely reign.
- Heywood and Shirley were but types of thee,
- Thou last great prophet of tautology!
- Even I, a dunce of more renown than they,
- Was sent before but to prepare the way;
- And, coarsely clad in Norwich drugget, came
- To teach the nation in thy greater name."
POEMS BY JOHN DRYDEN
'Mac Flecknoe' is reprinted from
English Poems. Ed. Edward Chauncey Baldwin. New York:
American Book Company, 1908.
- John Dryden - A biography
of the Restoration dramatist.
- John Dryden (1631-1700)
- A biography of the Restoration dramatist.
- Restoration Drama
- An overview of Restoration theatre; includes information on
the appearance of women on the English stage, the persistance
of Elizabethan plays, parody of heroic drama, the nature of Restoration
comedy, women playwrights, and Collier's attack on the stage.
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by John Dryden