Songs In King Arthur.

A poem by John Dryden

Where a battle is supposed to be given behind the scenes, with drums, trumpets, and military shouts and excursions; after which, the Britons, expressing their joy for the victory, sing this song of triumph.


I.

Come, if you dare, our trumpets sound;
Come, if you dare, the foes rebound:
We come, we come, we come, we come,
Says the double, double, double beat of the thundering drum.
Now they charge on amain,
Now they rally again:
The gods from above the mad labour behold,
And pity mankind, that will perish for gold.
The fainting Saxons quit their ground,
Their trumpets languish in the sound:
They fly, they fly, they fly, they fly;
Victoria, Victoria, the bold Britons cry.
Now the victory's won,
To the plunder we run:
We return to our lasses like fortunate traders,
Triumphant with spoils of the vanquish'd invaders.

II.

MAN SINGS.

O sight, the mother of desires,
What charming objects dost thou yield!
'Tis sweet, when tedious night expires,
To see the rosy morning gild
The mountain-tops, and paint the field!
But when Clarinda comes in sight,
She makes the summer's day more bright;
And when she goes away, 'tis night.

CHORUS.

When fair Clarinda comes in sight, &c.

WOMAN SINGS.

'Tis sweet the blushing morn to view;
And plains adorn'd with pearly dew:
But such cheap delights to see,
Heaven and nature
Give each creature;
They have eyes, as well as we;

This is the joy, all joys above,
To see, to see,
That only she,
That only she we love!

CHORUS.

This is the joy, all joys above, &c.

III.

Two daughters of this aged stream are we;
And both our sea-green locks have comb'd for thee;
Come bathe with us an hour or two,
Come naked in, for we are so:
What danger from a naked foe?
Come bathe with us, come bathe, and share
What pleasures in the floods appear;
We'll beat the waters till they bound,
And circle round, around, around,
And circle round, around.

IV.

Ye blustering brethren of the skies,
Whose breath has ruffled all the watery plain,
Retire, and let Britannia rise,
In triumph o'er the main.
Serene and calm, and void of fear,
The Queen of Islands must appear:
Serene and calm, as when the Spring
The new-created world began,
And birds on boughs did softly sing
Their peaceful homage paid to man;
While Eurus did his blasts forbear,
In favour of the tender year.
Retreat, rude winds, retreat
To hollow rocks, your stormy seat;
There swell your lungs, and vainly, vainly threat.

V.

Foe folded flocks, on fruitful plains,
The shepherd's and the farmer's gains,
Fair Britain all the world outvies;
And Pan, as in Arcadia, reigns,
Where pleasure mix'd with profit lies.

Though Jason's fleece was famed of old,
The British wool is growing gold;
No mines can more of wealth supply;
It keeps the peasant from the cold,
And takes for kings the Tyrian dye.

VI.

Fairest isle, all isles excelling,
Seat of pleasures and of loves;
Venus here will choose her dwelling,
And forsake her Cyprian groves.

Cupid from his favourite nation
Care and envy will remove;
Jealousy, that poisons passion,
And despair, that dies for love,

Gentle murmurs, sweet complaining,
Sighs, that blow the fire of love;
Soft repulses, kind disdaining,
Shall be all the pains you prove.

Every swain shall pay his duty,
Grateful every nymph shall prove;
And as these excel in beauty,
Those shall be renown'd for love.

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'Songs In King Arthur.' by John Dryden

comments powered by Disqus

Home | Search | About this website | Contact | Privacy Policy