Monday, September 21, 2015

John Dryden

John Dryden (1631—1700) is an English poet — the leading poet and literary critic of Restoration England. He was raised a Puritan, but became a member of the Church of England, and eventually a Roman Catholic. In politics he was a monarchist. He also wrote plays, producing three a year for The King's Company, after the Puritan ban on the theatre was lifted in 1663. He became Poet Laureate in 1668. His major work containing poems of faith is Religio Laici (1882).

His translation of The Aeneid by Virgil is still considered the best in the English language. His use of heroic couplets greatly influenced the poetry of Alexander Pope. John Dryden is buried at Westminster Abbey.

Veni, Creator Spiritus

Creator Spirit, by whose aid
The world’s foundations first were laid,
Come, visit every pious mind;
Come, pour thy joys on human kind;
From sin, and sorrow set us free;
And make thy temples worthy Thee.

O, Source of uncreated Light,
The Father’s promis’d Paraclete!
Thrice Holy Fount, thrice Holy Fire,
Our hearts with heav’nly love inspire;
Come, and thy Sacred Unction bring
To sanctify us, while we sing!

Plenteous of grace, descend from high,
Rich in thy seven-fold energy!
Thou strength of his Almighty Hand,
Whose power does heaven and earth command:
Proceeding Spirit, our Defence,
Who do’st the gift of tongues dispence,
And crown’st thy gift with eloquence!

Refine and purge our earthly parts;
But, oh, inflame and fire our hearts!
Our frailties help, our vice control;
Submit the senses to the soul;
And when rebellious they are grown,
Then, lay thy hand, and hold ’em down.

Chase from our minds the Infernal Foe;
And peace, the fruit of love, bestow;
And, lest our feet should step astray,
Protect, and guide us in the way.

Make us Eternal Truths receive,
And practise, all that we believe:
Give us thy self, that we may see
The Father and the Son, by thee.

Immortal honour, endless fame,
Attend the Almighty Father’s name:
The Saviour Son be glorified,
Who for lost Man’s redemption died:
And equal adoration be,
Eternal Paraclete, to thee.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.