Verse > John Dryden > Poems
John Dryden (1631–1700).  The Poems of John Dryden.  1913.
Songs from the Plays
Song of the Zambra Dance, from The Conquest of Granada
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.
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.
Ah, Charming fair, said I,
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.
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!
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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