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SONNETS,

I. TO THE NIGHTINGALE.

O NIGHTINGALE, that on yon bloomy spray Warblest at eve, when all the woods are still; Thou with fresh hope the lover's heart dost fill, While the jolly Hours lead on propitious May. Thy liquid notes that close the eye of day,

a

First heard before the shallow cuckoo's bill, Portend success in love. O, if Jove's will Have link'd that amorous power to thy soft lay, Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate Foretell my hopeless doom in some grove nigh; As thou from year to year hast sung too late For my relief, yet hadst no reason why:

C

d

Whether the Muse or Love call thee his mate, C
Both them I serve, and of their train am I.

II. ON HIS BEING ARRIVED AT THE AGE OF
TWENTY-THREE.

d

How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth, a Stolen on his wing my three-and-twentieth year! My hasting days fly on with full career

But

my

late spring no bud or blossom show'th.

b

b

Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth,
That I to manhood am arrived so near;
And inward ripeness doth much less appear,
That some more timely-happy spirits endu'th.
Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,

b

b

It shall be still in strictest measure even To that same lot, however mean or high, Toward which Time leads me, and the will of All is, if I have grace to use it so, с [Heaven; As ever in my great Task-Master's eye.

III.-WHEN THE ASSAULT WAS INTENDED TO THE CITY.

[seize,

CAPTAIN, or colonel, or knight in arms,
Whose chance on these defenceless doors may
If deed of honour did thee ever please, [harms.
Guard them, and him within protect from
He can requite thee; for he knows the charms
That call fame on such gentle acts as these,
And he can spread thy name o'er land and seas,
Whatever clime the sun's bright circle warms.
Lift not thy spear against the Muses' bower:
The great Emathian conqueror bid spare
The house of Pindarus, when temple and tower
Went to the ground: and the repeated air
Of sad Electra's poet had the power

To save the Athenian walls from ruin bare.

IV. TO A VIRTUOUS YOUNG LADY.

LADY, that in the prime of earliest youth [green, Wisely hast shunn'd the broad way and the

And with those few art eminently seen, That labour up the hill of heavenly truth; The better part with Mary and with Ruth Chosen thou hast; and they that overween, And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen, No anger find in thee, but pity and ruth. Thy care is fix'd, and zealously attends

To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light, And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be

sure,

Thou, when the bridegroom with his feastful Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night, [friends Hast gain'd thy entrance, Virgin wise and pure.

V.-TO THE LADY MARGARET LEY.

DAUGHTER to that good earl, once president
Of England's council and her treasury,

Who lived in both, unstain'd with gold or fee,
And left them both, more in himself content,
Till sad the breaking of that parliament
Broke him, as that dishonest victory
At Chæronea, fatal to liberty,

Kill'd with report that old man eloquent. Though later born than to have known the days Wherein your father flourish'd, yet by you, Madam, methinks I see him living yet; So well your words his noble virtues praise, That all both judge you to relate them true, And to possess them, honour'd Margaret.

VI. ON THE DETRACTION WHICH FOLLOWED UPON
MY WRITING CERTAIN TREATISES.

A BOOK was writ of late, call'd "Tetrachordon,"
And woven close, both matter, form, and style;
The subject new: it walk'd the town awhile,
Numbering good intellects; now seldom pored on.
Cries the stall-reader, Bless us! what a word on
A title page is this! and some in file [Mile-
Stand spelling false, while one might walk to
End green. Why is it harder, sirs, than Gordon,
Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp?

[sleek, Those rugged names to our like mouths grow That would have made Quintillian stare and

gasp.

Thy age, like ours, O soul of Sir John Cheek, Hated not learning worse than toad or asp, When thou taught'st Cambridge, and King Edward, Greek.

VIL-ON THE SAME.

I DID but prompt the age to quit their clogs
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
When straight a barbarous noise environs me
Of owls, and cuckoos, asses, apes, and dogs:
As when those hinds that were transform'd to frogs
Rail'd at Latona's twin-born progeny,

Which after held the sun and moon in fee.
But this is got by casting pearl to hogs;
That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood,

And still revolt when truth would set them free.

License they mean when they cry liberty; For who loves that, must first be wise and good; But from that mark how far they rove we see, For all this waste of wealth, and loss of blood.

VIII. TO MR H. LAWES, ON THE PUBLISHING
HIS AIRS.

HARRY, whose tuneful and well-measuring song
First taught our English music how to span
Words with just note and accent, not to scan
With Midas ears, committing short and long;
Thy worth and skill exempts thee from the throng,
With praise enough for Envy to look wan:
To after age thou shalt be writ the man,
That with smooth air couldst humour best our
[wing
Thou honour'st verse, and verse must lend her
To honour thee, the priest of Phoebus' quire,
That tunest their happiest lines in hymn or story.
Dante shall give Fame leave to set thee higher
Than his Casella, whom he woo'd to sing
Met in the milder shades of purgatory.

tongue.

IX. ON THE RELIGIOUS MEMORY OF MRS CATHERINE THOMSON, MY CHRISTIAN FRIEND, DECEASED DEC. 16, 1646.

WHEN Faith and Love, which parted from thee

never,

Had ripen'd thy just soul to dwell with God, Meekly thou didst resign this earthly load [sever. Of death, call'd life; which us from life doth

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