Dryden, John. Threnodia Augustalis: A Funeral-Pindarique Poem Sacred to the Happy Memory Of King Charles II. London: for Jacob Tonson, 1685. Krown & Spellman retail: $475. 4to. A-C4,D2. [2],25,[1]pp. Modern 1/2 calf over cloth, hinge rubbed, paper toned. First Edition, first state. From the Krown & Spellman Collection. This poem is an example of the work demanded by Dryden's role as Poet Laureate. Dryden celebrates Charles as a great encourager of the arts, though he cannot restrain himself in noting that he hadn't given much financial assistance to his poets. Though not his best work it contains "passages of noble rhetoric and persuasive statement," [OHEL, Late 17th]
    "When, early in 1685, Charles II died, Dryden honoured his memory with a Pindaric ode, Threnodia Augustalis, to which the poet gave a semi-official character by describing himself as 'servant to his late Majesty and to the present King.' The ode, which has some fine turns, without altogether escaping bathos, treats a not very promising subject (which baffled Otway 94 ) with Dryden's usual skill in the selection of qualities warranting praise; the inequalities of the metre, on which Scott wittily dwells, are less violent than those to be found in the far more celebrated Alexander's Feast."

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