Verse > John Dryden > Poems
John Dryden (1631–1700).  The Poems of John Dryden.  1913.
Translations of Latin Hymns and Minor Miscellanies
Hymn for the Nativity of St. John Baptist
24th June

O SYLVAN 1 Prophet! whose eternal Fame
Echoes from Judah’s Hills and Jordan’s Stream,
The Musick of our Numbers raise,
And tune our Voices to thy Praise.
A Messenger from high Olympus came        5
To bear the Tidings of thy Life and Name,
And told thy Sire each Prodigy
That Heav’n design’d to work in thee.
Hearing the News, and doubting in Surprize,
His faltering Speech in fetter’d Accent dy’s;        10
But Providence, with happy Choice,
In thee restor’d thy Father’s Voice.
In the Recess of Nature’s dark Abode,
Though still enclos’d, yet knewest thou thy God;
Whilst each glad Parent told and blest        15
The Secrets of each other’s Breast.
Note 1. Printed with an incorrect title by Scott from the same. The title was corrected by Saintsbury, who adds other verses from the Primer. There is no proof that these are Dryden’s, and in any case, since the compilers of Hymn Books often deal immorally with their texts, it seems best not to publish what may be spurious and is certainly corrupt. [back]

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