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Thy works, and alms, and all thy good endea- | Whether to settle peace, or to unfold vour,
The drift of hollow states hard to be spellid; Staid not behind, nor in the grave were trod; Then to advise how war may, best upheld, But, as Faith pointed with her golden rod, Move by her two main nerves, iron and gold,
Follow'd thee up to joy and bliss for ever. In all her equipage: besides to know Love led them on and Faith, who knew them best Both spiritual power and civil, what each Thy hand-maids, clad them o'er with purple
What severs each, thou hast learn'd, which few And azure wings, that up they few so drest,
have done: And spake the truth of thee on glorious themes The bounds of either sword to thee we owe: Before the Judge; who thenceforth bid thee Therefore on thy firm hand religion leans rest,
In peace, and reckons thee her eldest son. And drink thy fill of pure immortal streams.
on THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEMONT.
bones FAIRFAX, whose name in arms through Europe Lie scatier'd on the Alpine mountains cod; rings,
Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old, Filling each mouth with envy or with praise, When all our fathers worshipt stocks and • And all her jealous monarchs with amaze
stones, And rumours loud, that daunt remotest kings; Forget not: in thy book record their groans Thy firm unshaken virtue ever brings
Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold Victory home, though new rebellions raise
Slain by the bloody Piemontese that rollid Their Hydra hcads, and the false North dis
Mother with infant down the rocks. The plays Her broken league to imp their serpent-wings. The vales redoubled to the bills, and they O yet a nobler task awaits thy hand,
To Heaven. Their martyr'd blood and ashes (Por what can war, but endless war still breed?)
Till truth and right from violence be freed, O'er all the Italian fields, where still doth swa : And public faith clear'd from the shameful brand The triple tyrant; that from these may grow
Of public fraud. In vain doth valour bleed, A hundred fold, who, having fearn'd thy way,
Early may fly the Babylonian woe.
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide, Guided by faith and matchless fortitude, And that one talent which is death to hide, To peace and truth thy glorious way hast Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more plough’d,
bent And on the neck of crowned fortune proud To serve therewith my Maker, and present Hast rear'd God's trophies, and his work pur- My true account, lest he, returning, chide; sued,
[imbrued, “ Doth God exact day-labour, light denied ?” While Darwen stream, with blood of Scots I fondly ask: but Patience, to prevent
And Dunbar field resounds thy praises loud, That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need And Worcester's laureat wreath. Yet much re- “ Either man's work, or his own gifts; who mains
best To conquer still ; peace hath her victories Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best : his No less renown'd than war: new foes arise
state Threatening to bind our souls with secular chains: Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,
Help us to save free conscience from the paw And post o'er land and ocean without rest; Of hireling wolves, whose gospel is their maw. They also serve who only stand and wait.” XVII.
ON HIS BLINDNESS,
TO MR. LAWRENCE.
TO SIR HENRY VANE, THE YOUNGER.
Now that the fields are dank, and ways are The helm of Rome, when gowns, not arms, re
mire, The fierce Epirot and the African bold; (pellid Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire
Help waste a sullen day, what may be won made Latin secretary, he lodged at one Thomson's next door to the Bull-head tavern at Char- Ver. 1. Lawrence, of virtuous father virtuous ing-Cross. This Mrs. Thomson was in a l pro- son, &c.] The viriuous father Henry Lawrence, bability one of that family. NEWTON. was member for Herefordshire in the Little Porn
From the hard season gaining? Time will run Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask? On smoother, till Favonius re-inspire
The conscience, friend, to have lost them The frozen Earth, and clothe in fresh attire
overplied The lily and rose, that neither sow'd nor spun.
In liberty's defence, my noble task, What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice, of which all Europe rings from side to side. Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may This thought might lead me through the rise
world's raio mask To hear the lute well touch'd, or artful voice Content though blind, had I no better guide. Varble immortal notes and Tuscan air? He who of those delights can judge, and spare
ON HIS DECEASED WIPE.
METHOUGHT I saw my late espoused saint
Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave, TO CYRIACK SKINNER'..
Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave,
(faint. Cyriack, whose grandsire, on the royal bench Rescu'd from death by force, though pale and
Of British Themis, with no mean applause Mine, as whom wash'd from spot of child-bed Pronounc'd, and in his volumes taught, our
Purification in the old Law did save, Which others at their bar so often wrench;
And such, as yet once more I trust to have To day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,
In mirth that, after, no repenting draws ; Came vested all in white, pure as her mind : Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause,
Her face was veil'd; yet to my fancied sight And what the Swede intends, and what the Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd French.
So clear, as in no face with more delight. To measure life learn thou betimes, and know But I, as to embrace me she inclin'd, Toward solid good what leads the nearest I wak'd; she fled; and day brought back my way;
night. For other things mild Heaven a time ordains, And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
That with superfluous burden loads the day,
FROM THE CAMBRIDGE MS.
Title. “ On his dore when the Citty erpected an Cyriack, this three years day these eyes, though | assault.” Then, as at present; with an addition clear
of the date 1642, afterwards expunged. To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Ver. 3. If ever deed of honour did thee please. Berest of light, their seeing have forgot; As in the edit. 1645. The present reading OC
Nor to their idle or bs doth sight appear curs first in the edit. 1673. Of Sun, or Moon, or star, throughout the year, This sonnet is written in a female band. Only Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not
the title, now prefix'd to it, is written by Milton. Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot Of heart or hope ; but still bear up and steer
TO THE SAME.
·liament which began in 1653, and was active in Title. “To a Lady." settling the protectorate of Cromwell. In con- Ver. 7. And at thy blooming tortue fret their sequence of his services, he was made president
spleen. of Cromwell's council; where he appears to have Ver. 13. Opens the dore of blisse that hour of signed many severe and arbitrary decrees, not
Soxx. xi. 1646. 40, 189 pages. The dedication is “To my Most deare and Most honoured Mother, the Title, as printed in this edition. lady Lawrence.” He is perhaps the same Ver. 1. I writt a book of late callid Tetra. Henry Lawrence, who printed A Vindication
chordon, of the Scriptures and Christian Ordinances,
And weau'd it close, both matter,form, 1649. Lond. 4o.
and style : Sou of William Skinner, esq. and grandson of
It went off well about the town awhile, sir Vincent Skinner ; and his mother was Bridget,
Numbering good wils, but now is sel. one of the daughters of the famous sir Edward
dom por'd on. Coke, lord chief justice of the King's Bench. Ver. 10. Those barbarous names,
Then rough-hewn, and lastly rugged. All in From ver. 1. to ver. 8, as now printed.
Ver. 9. And twenty battles more.
So it was at first written, afterwards corrected to Sonx. xii.
the present reading, Worcester's laureat wreath. Ver. 4. Of owls and buzzards.
Ver. 11, & 12, as now printed. This sonnet Ver. 10. And hate the truth whereby they should is in a female hand, unlike that in which the 8th be free.
sunnet is written. All in Milton's own hand.
Ver. 1. As now printed. Title. “ To my friend Mr. Hen. Lawes, feb. Ver. 2. And to advise how war may, best up9. 1645. On the publishing of his
Move on her two main nerves. Ver. 3. Words with just notes, which till then So at first written, afterwards corrected to then
us'd to scan, With Midas' eares, misjoining short Ver. 10. What power the church and what the
and long. In the first of these lines “When most were wont to
Thon teachest best, which few hare scan” had also been written.
ever done. Ver. 6. And gives thee praise above the pipe of Afterwards thus, Pan.
Both spiritual power and civill, what To after age thou shalt be writ a nian,
each means, Thou didst reform thy art the chief
Thou hast learn'd well, a praise which among.
few have won. Thou honourst vers, &c.
Lastly, as now printed. Ver. 12. Fame, by the Tuscan's lear, shall set Ver. 13.
thy right hand. thee higher
Afterwards altered to form hand. And WarbuirThan old Casell, whom Dante woo'd to ton has said it should have been altered further sing.
to “ firm arm. There are three copies of this sonnet; two in This sonnet is also in a female hand, unlike Milton's hand ; the third in another, a man's either of the two last. . hand. Milton, as Mr. Warton observes, had an Sonnets xviii, six, xx, do not appear in the amanuensis on account of the failure of his eyes. manuscript. SonN. xiv.
The four first lines are wanting.
Ver. 8. As now printed.
In the hand of a fourth woman, as it seems, Of flesh and sin, which man from heaven doth sever.
Ver. 3. to ver. 5, as now printed.
Afterwards altered to Heaven's hand.
but still altend tu steer
Up hillward, Faith show'd the way, and she who saw So at first written, afterwards altered to the prethem best
sent reading. Thy hand-maids, &c.
Ver. 12. Of which all Europe talks from side Here also the line had been written,
This sonnet is written in the same female hand Ver. 12. And spoke the truth.
as the last. There are two copies of this sonnet (one correct. ed) in Milton's hand; and a third in another, a
Sonn. xxiii. man's hand.
No variations, except in the spelling. This is
in a fifth female hand; beautifully written; imiSonx. XV.
tating also Milton's manner of beginning most of Title. “ On the &c. At the siege of Colchester.” the lines with small initial letters; which is not
From ver. 2. to ver. 13, as now printed. See the case with the other female hands. the variations of the printed copies before doctor Newton's edition, in the notes on the sonnet.
APPENDIX TO THE SONNETS. Sonn. xvi. Title. “To the lord general Cromwell, May
l. 1652. On the Proposalls of certaine ministers at the committee for propagation of the gospell.” Af- Dr. Birch, in bis Life of Milton, bas printed a terwards blotted out.
Sonnet, said to be written by Milton in 1665, when 6
ON THE MORNING OF
he retired to Chalfont in Buckinghanishire on ac- , Then, laughing, they repeat my languid laysçount of the plague; and to have been seen in- “Nymphs of thy native clime, perhaps,”— scribed on the glass of a window in that place.
they cry, I hare seen a copy of it written, apparently in a “ For whom thou hast a tongue, may feel thy coeval band, at the end of Tonson's edition of
praise; Milton's Smaller Foelns in 1713, where it is also But we must understand ere we comply!” said to be Milton's. It is re-printed from Dr. Birch's Life of the poet, in Fawkes and Woty's Do thou, my soul's soft hope, these triflers awe; Poetical Calendar, 1763, vol. viii. p. 67. But, Tell them, 'tis nothing, bow, or what, I writ! in this sonnet, there is a scriptural mistake; Since love from silent looks can language draw, which, as Mir. Warton has observed, Milton was And scorns the lame impertinence of wit. not likely to commit. For the Sonnet improperly represents David as panished by pestilence for his adultery with Bathsheba. Mr. Warton,
ODES. however, adds, that Dr. Birch had been informed by Vertue the engraver, that he had seen a satirical medal, struck upon Charles the Second, abroad, without any legend, having a correspondent device. This sonnet, I should add, va
CHRIST'S NATIVITY,. ries from the construction of the legitimate son- Tys is the month, and this the happy mom, net, in consisting of only ten lines, instead of wherein the Son of Heaven's Eternal king, fourteen.
Of wedded maid and visgin mother born,
Our great redemption from above did bring; Fair mirrour of foul times! whose fragile sheen,
For so the holy sages once did sing, Shall, as it blazeth, break; while Providence,
That he our deadly forfeit should release, Aye watching o'er his saints with eye unseen, And with his father work us a perpetual peace. Spreads the red rod of angry pestilence,
To sweep the wicked and their counsels hence; ( That glorious form, that light unsufferable,
Who Heaven's lore reject for brutish sense; Wherewith he wont at Heaven's high council-
And chose with us a darksome bouse of mortal
clay. In the concluding note on the seventh Sonnet, Afford a present to the Infant-God?
Say, heavenly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein it has been observed that other Italian sonnets and compositions of Milton, said to be remain-To welcome him to this his new ubode,
Hast thou no verse, no hyinn, or solemn strain, ing in manuscript at Florence, had been sought Now while the Heaven, by the Sun's team untrod, for in vain by Mr. Hollis. I think it may not be
Hath took no print of the approaching light, inproper here to observe, that there is a tradi
And all the spangled host keep watch in squation of Milton having fallen in love with a young
drons bright? lady, when he was at Florence; and, as she understood no English, of having written some see, how from far, upon the eastern road, verses to her in Italian, of which the poem, sub- The star-led wisards haste with odours sueet: joined to this remark, is said to be the sense. O run, prevent them with thy bumble ode, It has often been printed ; as in the Gentleman's And lay it lowly at his blessed feet; Magazine for 1760, p. 148; in Fawkes and Wo- Have thou the honour first thy Lord to greet, ty's Poetical Calendar, 1763, vol. viii. p. 68; in And join tlry voice unto the angel-quire, the Annual Register for 1772, p. 219; and in From out bis secret altar touch'd with hallow'd the third volume of Milton's poems in the Edi
fire. tion of the Poets, 1779 But to the original no reference is given, and even of the translator no mention is made, in any of those volumes. The
THE HYMN. poem is entitled, A fragment of Milton, from It was the winter wild, the Italian,
While the Heaven-born child
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies; Wben, in your language, I unskill 3 address
Nature in awe to hiin, The short-pac's efforts of a traminellid Muse;
Had doff'd her gaudy trim, Soft Italy's fair critics round me press,
With her great Master so to sympathize: And my mistaking passion thus accuse.
"This ode, in which the many learned allu“ Why, to our tongue's disgrace, does thy dumb sions are highly poetical, was probably composed Jove
as a college-exercise at Cambridge, our author Stripe, in rough sou d, soft meaning to impart: being now only twenty-one years old. . In the He must select his words who speaks to move, edition of 1645, in its title it is said to have been
And point his purpose at the hearer's heart.” written in 1029.
It was no geason then for her
When such music sweet To wanton with the Sun, her lusty paramour.
Their hearts and ears did greet,
As never was by mortal finger strook ; Only with speeches fair
Divinely-warbled voice She woves the gentle air
Answering the stringed noise, To hide her guilty front with innocent snow; As all their souls in blissful rapture took: And on her naked shame,
The air, such pleasure loth to lose, Pollute with sinful blame,
With thousand echoes still prolongs each heaThe saintly veil of maiden white to throw;
venly close. Confounded, that her Maker's eyes
Nature that heard such sound, Should look so near upon her foul deformities.
Beneath the hollow round But he, her fears to cease,
Of Cynthia's seat, the aery region thrilling, Sent down the meek-ey'd Peace;
Now was almost won
And that her reign had here its last fulfilling; His ready harbinger,
She knew such harmony alone With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing; Could hold all Heaven and Earth in happier And, waving wide her myrtle wand,
union. She strikes an universal peace through sea and
At last surrounds their sight land.
A globe of circular light, No war, or battle's sound,
That with long beams the shamefac'd night Was heard the world around:
The helmed Cherubim,
[array'd; The idle spear and shield were high up bung; And sworded Seraphim,
[play'd, The hooked chariot stood
Are seen in glittering ranks with wings disUnstain'd with hostile blood;
Harping in loud and solemn quire, The trumpet spake not to the armed throng;
With unexpressive notes, to Heaven's new-boru
Before was never made,
But when of old the sons of morning sung, Wherein the Prince of light
While the Creator great His reign of peace upon the Earth began:
His constellations set, The winds, with wonder wbist,
And the well-balanc'd world on hinges hung; Smoothly the waters kist,
And cast the dark foundations deep, Whispering new joys to the mild ocean,
And bid the weltering waves their oozy channel Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
keep. While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed
Ring out, ye crystal spheres,
Once bless our human ears, Thestars, with deep amaze,
If ye have power to touch our senses so; Stand fix'd in stedfast gaze,
And let your silver chime Bending one way their precious influence;
Move in melodious time ; And will not take their flight,
"And let the base of Heaven's deep organ blow; For all the morning light,
And, with your ninefold harmony, Or Lucifer that often warn'd them thence;
Make up full consort to the angelic symphoy. But in their glimmering orbs did glow, Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them For, if such boly song, go.
Enwrap our fancy long,
Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold; And, though the sharly gloom
And speckled Vanity Had given day her room,
Will sieken soon and die, The Sun himself withheld his wonted speed, And leprous Sin will inelt from earthly mould; And hid his head for shame,
And Hell itself will pass away, As his inferior flame
And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering The new-enlightep'd world no more should need:
day. He saw a greater Sun appear Than his bright throne, or burning axletree Yea, Truth and Justice then could bear.
Will down return to men,
Orb'd in a rainbow; and, like glories wearing, The shepherds on the lawn,
Mercy will sit between, Or e'er the point of dawn,
Thron'd in celestial sheen, Sat simply chatting in a rustic row;
With radiant feet the tissued clouds down Full little thought they then,
And Heaven, as at some festival, (steering; That the mighty Pan
Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall, Was kindly come to live with them below; Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep, But wisest Fate says no, Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep. This must not yet be so,