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TO THE NIGHTINGALE.
TO A VIRTUOUS YOUNG LADY. O NIGHTINGALE, that on yon bloomy spray Lady, that in the prime of earliest youth
Warblest at eve, when all the woods are still; Wisely hast shunned the broadway and the Thou with fresh hope the lover's heart dost fill,
green, While the jolly hours lead on propitious May, And with those few art eminently seen, Thy liquid notes that close the eye of day, That labour up the hill of heavenly truth,
First heard before the shallow cuckoo's bill, The better part with Mary and with Ruth Portend success in love; O if Jove's will Chosen thou hast; and they that overween,
Have linked that amorous power to thy soft lay, And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen, Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate
No anger find in thee, but piety and ruth. Foretell my hopeless doom in some grove nigh; Thy care is fixed, and zealously attends
As thou from year to year hast sung too late To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light, For my relief, yet had'st no reason why:
And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be Whether the Muse, or Love call thee his mate, Both them I serve, and of their train am I. Thou, when the bridegroom with his feastful
Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night, ON HIS BEING ARRIVED TO THE
Hast gained thy entrance, virgin wise and pure. AGE OF TWENTY-THREE. How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth, Stolen on his wing my three-and-twentieth year!
TO THE LADY MARGARET LEY. My hasting days fly on with full career,
But my late spring no bud nor blossom showeth. DAUGHTER to that good earl, once president Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth, Of England's council and her treasury, That I to manhood am arrived so near;
Who lived in both, unstained with gold or fee, And inward ripeness doth much less appear, And left them both, more in himself content,
That some more timely happy spirits indueth. Till sad the breaking of that Parliament Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,
Broke him, as that dishonest victory It shall be still in strictest measure even
At Chæronea, fatal to liberty, To that same lot, however mean or high, Killed with report that old man eloquent. Toward which time leads me, and the will of Though later born than to have known the days Heaven;
Wherein your father flouished, yet by you, All is, if I have grace to use it so,
Madam, methinks I see him living yet; As ever in my great Taskmaker's eye. So well your words his noble virtues praise,
That all both judge you to relate them true,
And to possess them, honoured Margaret. WHEN THE ASSAULT WAS INTEND
ED TO THE CITY. CAPTAIN, or colonel, or knight in arms,
ON THE DETRACTION WHICH FOLWhose chance on these defenceless doors may
LOWED UPON MY WRITING CER
TAIN TREATISES. seize, If deed of honour did thee ever please, A BOOK was writ of late called Tetrachordon, Guard them, and him within protect from And woven close, both matter, form, and style: harms.
The subject new: it walked the town a while, He can requite thee; for he knows the charms
Numbering good intellects; now seldom pored That call fame on such gentle acts as these, And he can spread thy name o'er lands and Cries the stall-reader, Bless us! what a word on seas,
A title page is this! and some in file Whatever clime the sun's bright circle warms. Stand spelling false, while one might walk to Lift not thy spear against the Muses' bower:
MileThe great Emathian conqueror bid spare End Green. Why is it harder, Sirs, than GorThe house of Pindarus, when temple and tower
don, Went to the ground: and the repeated air Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp? Of sad Electra's poet had the power
Those rugged names to our like mouths grow To save the Athenian walls from ruin bare.
ON THE PUBLISHING HIS AIRS.
That would have made Quintilian stare and But, as Faith pointed with her golden rod, gasp.
Followed them up to joy and bliss for ever.
Hated not learning worse than toad or asp, Thy handmaids, clad them o'er with purple
And azure wings, that up they flew so drest,
Before the Judge; who thenceforth bid thee rest, ON THE SAME.
And drink thy fill of pure immortal streams. I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes, and dogs:
rings, Which after held the sun and moon in fee. Filling each mouth with envy or with praise, But this is got by casting pearl to hogs;
And all her jealous monarchs with amaze
And still revolt when truth would set them free. Thy firm unshaken virtue ever brings
Her broken league to imp their serpent wings. For all this waste of wealth, and loss of blood. O yet a nobler task awaits thy hand,
(For what can war, but endless war still breed ?)
Till truth and right from violence be freed,
And public faith cleared from the shameful brand TO MR. H. LAWES,
Of public fraud. In vain doth valour bleed,
While avarice and rapine share the land.
First taught our English music how to span
TO THE LORD GENERAL CROMThy worth and skill exempts thee from the throng,
CROMWELL, our chief of men, who through a cloud, That with smooth air could'st humour best our
Not of war only, but detractions rude,
Guided by faith and matchless fortitude, tongue.
To peace and truth thy glorious way hast Thou honour'st verse, and verse must lend her
plonghed, wing To honour thee the priest of Phæbus' choir,
And on the neck of crowned Fortune proud
Hast reared God's trophies, and his work purThat tun'st their happiest lines in hymn, or
While Darwen stream, with bluod of Scots imDante shall give Fame leave to set thee higher
brued, Than his Casella, whom he wooed to sing
And Dunbar field, resounds thy praises loud, Met in the milder shades of purgatory.
And Worcester's laureat wreath. Yet much re
To conquer still; peace hath her victories ON THE RELIGIOUS MEMORY No less renowned than war: new foes arise OF MRS. CATHARINE THOMSON, MY CHRISTIAN Threatening to bind our souls with secular chains:
FRIEND, DECEASED 16th DECEMBER, 1646. Help us to save free conscience from the paw When faith and love, which parted from thee
Of hireling wolves, whose Gospel is their maw. never, Had ripened thy just soul to dwell with God, Meekly thou did'st resign the earthy load
TO SIR HENRY VANE, Of death, called life; which us from life doth Thy works, and alms, and all thy good endeavour Vane, young in years, but in sage counsel old, Stayed not behind, nor in the grave were trod; Than whom a better senator ne'er held
The helm of Rome, when gowns, not arms re
TO MR. LAWRENCE.
Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire, The drift of hollow states hard to be spelled; Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire Then to advise how war may, best upheld, Help waste a sullen day, what may be won
Move by her two main nerves, iron and gold, From the hard season gaining? Time will run In all her equipage: besides to know
On smoother, till Favonius reinspire Both spiritual power and civil, what each means, The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire What severs each, thou hast learned, which few The lily and rose, that neither sowed nor spun. have done;
What neat repast shall feast us; light and choice, The bounds of either sword to thee we owe:
Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise Therefore on thy firm hand Religion leans
To hear the lute well touched or artful voice In peace, and reckons thee her eldest son. Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air ?
He who of those delights can judge, and spare
ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIE-
TO CYRIAC SKINNER. AVENGE, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints, whose Cyriac, whose grandsire, on the royal bench bones
Of British Themis, with no mean applause Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold; Pronounced, and in his volumes taught, our laws, Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old, Which others at their bar so often wrench; When all our fathers worshipped stocks and To-day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench stones,
In mirth, that, after, no repenting draws; Forget not: in thy book record their groans Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause, Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold
And what the Swede intends, and what the Slain by the bloody Piemontese that rolled
French Mother with infant down the rocks. Their To measure life learn thou betimes, and know
Toward solid good what leads the nearest way; The vales redoubled to the hills, and they
For other things mild Heaven a time ordains, To Heaven. Their martyred blood and ashes And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
That with superfluous burden loads the day O'er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains. The triple tyrant; that from these may grow
A hundred fold, who, having learned thy way,
ON HIS DECEASED WIFE.
Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave,
Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave, When I consider how my life is spent
Rescued from death by force, tho' pale and faint.
Mine, as whom wash'd from spot of child bed taint Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
Purification in the old Law did save, And that one talent which is death to hide,
And such, as yet once more I trust to have Lodged with me useless, though my soul more
Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint, bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present
Came vested all in white, pure as her mind : My true account, lest he returning, chide;
Her face was veil’d; yet to my fancied sight Doth God exact day-labour, light denied ?
Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd I fondly ask: But patience, to prevent
So clear, as in no face with more delight:
But 0! as to embrace me she inclin'd,
I wak’d; she fled; and day brought back my night. Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best; his state
This sonnet was written about the year 1656, on the death Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,
of his second wise, Catharine, the daughter of Captain Wood
cock, of Hackney, a rigid sectarist. She died in child-bed of And post o'er land and occan without rest;
a daughter, within a year after their marriage. Milton had They also serve who only stand and wait. now been long totally blind.
TO CYRIAC SKINNER.
To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Nor 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
THE FIFTH ODE OF HORACE, LIB. I.
That the first wealthy pope receiv'd of thee.
Rough with black winds and storms Gainst them that rais'd thee dost thou lift thy horn,
Impudent whore, where hast thou plac'd thy hope? Who now enjoys thee credulous, all gold, In thy adulterers, or thy ill-got wealth ? Who always vacant, always amiable
Another Constantine comes not in haste. Hopes thee, of flattering gales
Unmindful. Hapless they To whom thou untried seem'st fair! Me, in my vow'd Then pass'd he to a flowery mountain green, Picture, the sacred wall declares to have hung Which once smelt sweet, now stinks as odiously: My dank and dropping weeds
This was the gift, if you the truth will have, To the stern god of sea.
That Constantine to good Sylvester gave.
FROM GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH.* Brutus thus addresses Diana in the country of WHOM do we count a good man? Whom but he LEOGECIA.
Who keeps the laws and statutes of the senate,
Who judges in great suits and controversies, Goddess of shades, and huntress, who at will Whose witness and opinion wins the cause ? Walk'ston the rolling spheres,and through the deep; But his own house, and the whole neighbourhood, On thy third reign, the earth, look now, and tell Sees his foul inside through his whited skin. What land, what seat of rest, thou bid'st me seek;
aye, with temples vow'd and virgin quires. This is true liberty, when freeborn men, To whom, sleeping before the altar, Diana an
Having to advise the public, may speak free;
Which he who can, and will, deserves high praiso , swers in a rision, the same night.
Who neither can, nor will, may hold his peace; BRUTCs, far to the west, in the ocean wide, What can be juster in a state than this ? Beyond the realm of Gaul, a land there lies, Sea-girt it lies, where giants dwelt of old;
FROM HORACE. Now void, it fits thy people: thither bend
-Laughing to teach the truth, Thy course; there shalt thou find a lasting seat; What hinders ? As some teachers give to boys There to thy sons another Troy shall rise, Junkets and knacks, that they may learn apace. And kings be born of thee, whose dreadful might Shall awe the world, and conquer nations bold.
-Joking decides great things, * Hist. Brit. I. xi. “Diva potens nemorum," &c.
Stronger and better oft than earnest can.
Be taught, ye judges of the earth; with fear
Jehovah serve, and let your joy converse 'T18 you that say it, not I. You do the deeds,
With trembling; kiss the Son, lest he appear And your ungodly deeds find me the words.
In anger and ye perish in the way,
If once his wrath take fire, like fuel sere,
Happy all those who have in him their stay. There can be slain No sacrifice to God more acceptable,
PSALM III. Aug. 9, 1653.
When he fled from Absalom.
Lord, how many are my foes!
How many those,
That in arms against me rise.
Many are they,
That of my life distrustfully thus say;
But thou, Lord, art my shield, my glory
Thee, through my story, And in his law he studies day and night.
The exalter of my head I count He shall be as a tree which planted grows
Aloud I cried By watery streams, and in his season knows
Unto Jehovah, he full soon replied,
And heard me from his holy mount.
For my sustain
Was the Lord. Of many millions Nor sinners in the assembly of just men.
The populous rout For the Lord knows the upright way of the just, I fear not, though, encamping round about, And the way of bad men to ruin must.
They pitch against me their pavilions.
Rise, Lord; save me, my God; for thou
Hast smote, ere now
On the cheek-bone all my foes,
Of men abhorred Why do the Gentiles tumult, and the Nations
Hast broke the teeth. This help was from the Muse a vain thing, the kings of the earth upstand Lord;
With power, and princes in their congregations Thy blessing on thy people flows.
PSALM IV. Aug. 10, 1653.
In straits and in distress, Shall laugh; the Lord shall scoff them; then, Thou didst me disenthrall severe,
And set at large; now spare, Speak to them in his wrath, and in his fell
Now pity me,
and hear my earnest prayer. And fierce ire trouble them; but I, saith he, Great ones, how long will ye
Anointed have my King (though ye rebel) My glory have in scorn ? On Sion my holy hill. A firm decree
How long be thus forborne I will declare: The Lord to me hath said, Still to love vanity ?
Thou art my Son, I have begotten thee To love, to seek, to prize,
Yet know the Lord hath chose,
(For whom to choose he knows)
Will hear my voice, what time to him I cry. And now be wise at length, ye kings averse, Be awed, and do not sin;