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XIII.--ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEDMONT.
AVENGE, O Lord, thy slaughter'd saints, whose bones
Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains cold; Ev'n them who kept thy truth so pure of old,
When all our fathers worshipp'd stocks and stones, Forget not: in thy book record their groans
Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold Slain by the bloody Piedmontese that rollid
Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans The vales redoubled to the hills, and they
To Heaven. Their martyr'd blood and ashes sow
O'er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway The triple tyrant; that from these may grow
A hundred fold, who, having learn'd thy way, Early may fly the Babylonian woe.
XIV.-ON HIS BLINDNESS.
WHEN I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide, And that one talent which is death to hide,
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more To serve therewith my Maker, and present [bent
My true account, lest He, returning, chide;
I fondly ask: but Patience, to prevent
Either man's work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best: his Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed, [state
And post o'er land and ocean without rest:
XV. -TO MR LAWRENCE.
LAWRENCE, of virtuous father virtuous son,
Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire,
Help waste a sullen day, what may be won
On smoother, till Favonius reinspire
The lily and rose, that neither sow'd nor spun. What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,
Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise
To hear the lute well touch'd, or artful voice Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air?
He who of those delights can judge, and spare To interpose them oft, is not unwise.
XVI.-TO CYRIACK SKINNER.
CYRIACK, whose grandsire on the royal bench
Of British Themis, with no mean applause Pronounced, and in his volumes taught, our laws,
Which others at their bar so often wrench; To-day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench
In mirth, that, after, no repenting draws;
Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause, And what the Swede intends, and what the French. To measure life learn thou betimes, and know
Toward solid good what leads the nearest way;
For other things mild Heaven a time ordains, And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
That with superfluous burden loads the day, And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.
XVII.-TO THE SAME.
CYRIACK, this three years day these eyes, though
To outward view, of blemish or of spot, [clear,
Vor to their idle orbs doth sight appear
Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not
Of heart or hope; but still bear up and steer Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask?
The conscience, friend, to have lost them over
In liberty's defence, my noble task, [plied Of which all Europe rings from side to side. This thought might lead me through the
world's vain mask Content though blind, had I no better guide.
XVIII.-ON HIS DECEASED WIFE.
METHOUGHT I saw my late espoused saint
Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave, Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband
gave, Rescued from death by force, though pale and faint. Mine, as whom wash'd from spot of child-bed
Purification in the old Law did save, [taint And such, as yet once more I trust to have
Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint;Came, vested all in white, pure as her mind:
Her face was veil'd; yet to my fancied sight Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shined
So clear, as in no face with more delight.
But, 0, as to embrace me she inclined, (night. I waked; she fled; and day brought back my
END OF SONNETS.
ON THE MORNING OF CHRIST'S NATIVITY.
This is the month, and this the happy morn,
That he our deadly forfeit should release,
That glorious form, that light insufferable,
Forsook the courts of everlasting day, [clay. And chose with us a darksome house of mortal
Say, heavenly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein