Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own:
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.
Be fair or foul or rain or shine
The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine.
Not Heaven itself upon the past has power,
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.
1731 – 1700
Dryden was born in the village of Aldwincle in Northamptonshire. He was the eldest of fourteen children born to Erasmus Dryden and wife Mary Pickering, paternal grandson of Sir Erasmus Dryden, 1st Baronet (1553-1632) and wife Frances Wilkes, Puritan landowning gentry who supported the Puritan cause and Parliament. He was also a second cousin once removed of Jonathan Swift.
Dryden was the dominant literary figure and influence of his age. He established the heroic couplet as the standard meter of English poetry, by writing successful satires, religious pieces, fables, epigrams, compliments, prologues, and plays. Became Poet Laureate in 1668. Following his death in 1700 and was buried in Westminster Abbey