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Would soon unbosom all their echoes mild,
And I (for grief is easily beguild)

Might think th' infection of my sorrows loud
Had got a race of mourners on some pregnant cloud.
This subject the author finding to be above the years he

had, when he wrote it, and nothing satisfied with what was begun, left it unfinished.


On Time *,


FLY envious Time, till thou run out thy race,
Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,
Whose speed is but the heavy plummet's pace;
And glut thyself with what thy womb devours,
Which is no more than what is false and vain,
And merely mortal dross ;
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain.
For when as each thing bad thou hast intomb’d,
And last of all thy greedy self consum’d,
Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
With an individual kiss;
And Joy shall overtake us as a flood,
When every thing that is sincerely good


* In these poems where no the manuscript that the poet had date is prefixed, and no circum- written To be set on a clock-case. stances direct us to ascertain the 12. -individual] Eternal, intime when they were composed, separable. As in P. L. iv. 485. we follow the order of Milton's v. 610. See note on dividual, own editions. And before this P. L. vii. 382. T. Warton. copy of verses, it appears

from 14. --sincerely good.] Purely,


And perfectly divine,
With truth, and peace, and love, shall ever shine
About the supreme throne
Of him, whose happy-making sight alone
When once our heav’nly-guided soul shall clime,
Then all this earthy grossness quit,
Attir'd with stars, we shall for ever sit,
Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee, O




Upon the Circumcision.
Ye flaming pow'rs, and winged warriors bright,
That erst with music, and triumphant song,
First heard by happy watchful shepherds' ear,
So sweetly sung your joy the clouds along
Through the soft silence of the listning night;

5 Now mourn, and if sad share with us to bear Your fiery essence can distil no tear, Burn in your sighs, and borrow Seas wept from our deep sorrow: He who with all heav'n's heraldry whilere perfectly, good; as in Comus, v. 434–443. In the present 455. T. Warton.

instance he wishes to make angels 18. -happy-making sight,] The weep. But being of the essence plain English of beatific vision. of fire, they cannot produce 7. Your fiery essence can distil water. At length he recollects no tear,

that fire may produce burning Burn in your sighs,]

sighs. It is debated in Thomas Milton is puzzled how to recon- Aquinas whether angels have cile the transcendent essence of not, or may not have, beards. angels with the infirmities of T. Warton. men. He met with a similar 10. He who with all heav'n's difficulty in describing the repast heraldry whilere of Raphael in Paradise; P. L. Enter'd the world.]

10 15

Enter'd the world, now bleeds to give us ease;
Alas, how soon our sin
Sore doth begin

His infancy to seize!
O more exceeding love or law more just ?
Just law indeed, but more exceeding love !
For we by rightful doom remediless
Were lost in death, till he that dwelt above
High thron'd in secret bliss, for us frail dust
Emptied his glory, ev'n to nakedness;
And that great covenant which we still transgress
Entirely satisfied,
And the full wrath beside
Of vengeful justice bore for our excess,
And seals obedience first with wounding smart
This day, but o ere long
Huge pangs and strong

Will pierce more near his heart *.



Great pomps and processions are Improbus ille puer : crudelis tu quoproclaimed or preceded by he- que mater. ralds. It is the same idea in

Richardson. P. L. i. 752.

20. Emptied his glory,) An exMeanwhile the winged heralds by pression taken from Phil. ïi. 7. command

but not as it is in our translation, Of sovereign power, &c.

He made himself of no reputation, And again, b. ii. 516. Or herald- but as it is in the original, izvtor ty may mean retinue, train, the Exeywor, He emptied himself. procession itself; what he other- 24. --for our excess,] He has wise calls pomp. See the note,

used the word in the same sense P. L. viii. 60. T. Warton.

Paradise Lost, xi. 111. 15. O more exceeding love or Bewailing their excess— law more just ?

but I think with greater proJust law indeed, but more ex- priety there than here. ceeding love ! ]

* It is hard to say, why these Virgil, Ecl. viii. 49.

three odes on the three grand Crudelis mater magis, an puer im- incidents or events of the life of probus ille ?

Christ, (the Nativity, the Passion, VII.

At a Solemn Music.

BLEST pair of Sirens, pledges of heav'n's joy,
Sphere-born harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse,

divine sounds, and mix'd pow'r employ
Dead things with inbreath'd sense able to pierce,
And to our high-rais’d phantasy present
That undisturbed song of pure concent,


the Circumcision) were not at Compare L'Allegro, 137. See first printed together. I believe also King James's Furies in the they were all written about the Invocation. year 1629. T. Warton.

-marrying so my heavenly verse 2. Sphere-born harmonious sis

Unto the harpe's accorder. ters, voice and verse.) So, says In that King's Poelicall Exercises, Mr. Bowle, Marino in his Adone, Edinb. 4to. no date, printed by c. vii. 1.

R. Waldegrave. T. Warton. Musica e Poesia son due sorelle.

6. -of pure concent,] So we

T. Warton. read in the manuscript, and in 3. Wed your divine sounds, &c.] the edition of 1673, and we In the manuscript it appears that prefer the authority of both to he had written these lines thus ihe single one of the edition in at first.

1645, which has of pure content.

6. Concent, not consent, (which Mix your choice words, and happiest sounds employ

Tonson first reads, ed. fol. 1695.) Dead things with inbreath'd sense is the reading of the Cambridge able to pierce,

manuscript. Hence we should And as your equal raptures temper’d correct Jonson, in an Epithala

sweet In high mysterious happy spousal meet, mium on Mr. Weston, vol. vii. 2.

And in the Foxe, a. ïïi. Snatch us from earth a while,

p. Us of ourselves and native woes beguile, 483. vol. vii. Works, ed. 1616. And to our high-rais'd phantasy pre- And perhaps Shakespeare, K.

Henr. V. a. i. s. 2. 3. Jonson has amplified this

For government, tho' high, and low, idea, Epigr. cxxix. on E. Filmer's and lower Musical work, 1629.

Put into parts, doth keep in one

consent, &c. What charming peals are these?They are the marriage-rites

And Lilly's Midas, 1592. a. iv.. Of two the choicest pair of man's 8. 1. And Fairfax's Tasso, c. delights,

xviii. 19. Concent and concented Musick and Poesie : French Air and English Verse here

occur in several places of Spenser. wedded lie, &c.

The undisturbed song of pure

8. iv.

sent, &c.

Aye sung before the sapphire-colour'd throne
To him that sits thereon
With saintly shout, and solemn jubilee,
Where the bright Seraphim in burning row

Their loud up-lifted angel-trumpets blow,
And the cherubic host in thousand quires
Touch their immortal harps of golden wires,
With those just spirits that wear victorious palms,
Hymns devout and holy psalms
Singing everlastingly;
That we on earth with undiscording voice
May rightly answer that melodious noise;


concent is the diapason of the music 14. Compare P. L. vi. 882. of the spheres in Plato's system. and the Epitaph. Damon. 216. See P. L. v. 625. and the note

Lætaque frondentis gestans umbraon Arcades, 64. But Plato's ab

cula palmæ. stracted spherical harmony is

T. Warton. here ingrafted into the song in the Revelations. T. Warton.

17-25. That we on earth, &c. 7. the sapphire-colour'd

-renew that song ] throne] Alluding to Ezek. i. 26. Perhaps there are no finer lines And above the firmament that was

in Milton, less obscured by conover their heads, was the likeness of ceit, less embarrassed by affected a throne, as the appearance of a

expressions, and less weakened sapphire stone.

by pompous epithets. And in io. -in burning ron] He had this perspicuous and simple style written at first in triple row.

are conveyed some of the noblest 14. With those just spirits &c.] ideas of a most sublime philoThese lines were thus at first in sophy, heightened by metaphors the manuscript.

and allusions suitable to the sub

ject. T. Warton. With those just spirits that wear 18. May rightly answer that the blooming palms,

melodious noise ;] The following Hymns devout and sacred psalms, Singing everlastingly,

lines were thus at first in the While all the starry rounds and arches manuscript. blue

By leaving out those harsh ill sounding Resound and echo Hallelu ;

jars That we on earth &c.

Of clamorous sin that all our music The victorious palms is in allusion

And in our lives, and in our song to Rev. vii. 9. clothed - with white

May keep in tune with heav'n, till robes, and palms in their hands. God ere long &c.


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