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To the first edition of the Author's poems printed in 1645 was prefixed the following advertisement of



Tis not any private respect of gain, gentle Reader, for the flightest pamphlet is now a days more vendible than the works of learnedeft men; but it is the love I have to our own language, that hath made me diligent to collect and fet forth fuch pieces both in profe and verse, as may renew the wanted honor and efteem of our English tongue; and it is the worth of thefe both English and Latin poems, not the flourish of any prefixed encomiums that can invite thee to buy them, though thefe are not without the highest commendations and applause of the learnedeft Academies, both domeftic and foreign; and amongst thofe of our own country, the unparalleled atteftation of that renowned Provost of Eton, Sir Henry Wooton. I know not thy palate how it relishes fuch dainties, nor how harmonious thy foul is; perhaps more trivial airs may pleafe thee better. But how foever thy opinion is fpent upon thefe, that encouragement I have already received from the most ingenious men in their clear and courteous entertainment of Mr. Waller's late choice pieces, hath once more made me adventure into the world, prefenting it with these ever-green, and not to be blafted laurels. The Author's more peculiar ex'cellency in thefe ftudies was too well known to conceal his papers, or to keep me from attempting to folicit them from him. Let the event guide itfelf which way it will, I fhall deferve of the age, by bringing into the light as true a birth, as the Mufes have brought forth. fince our famous Spenfer wrote; whofe poems in these English ones are as rarely imitated, as fweetly excelled. Reader, if thou art eagle-eyed to cenfure their worth, I am not fearful to expose them to thy exacteft perusal.

Thine to command,







On the death of a fair Infant, dying of a cough*



Faireft flow'r no fooner blown but blafted,
Soft filken primrose fading timelefly,

Summer's chief honor, if thou hadst out-lafted
Bleak Winter's force that made thy bloffom dry;
For he being amorous on that lovely dye

That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss, But kill'd, alas, and then bewail'd his fatal bliss. II.

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For fince grim Aquilo his charioteer
By boiftrous
rape th' Athenian damfel got,
He thought it touch'd his deity full near,
If likewise he some fair one wedded not,
Thereby to wipe away th' infamous blot

Of long-uncoupled bed, and childless eld,
Which 'mongst the wanton Gods a foul reproach was held.

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*Compofed in 1625, the 17th year of Milton's age. This infant was the Author's niece, a daughter of his fifter Philips, and probably her first child.

8. For fince grim Aquilo, &c.] Boreas, or Aquilo, carried off by force Orithyfa, daughter of Erectheus, King of Athens.


So mounting up in icy-pearled car,
Through middle empire of the freezing air
He wander'd long, till thee he spy'd from far;
There ended was his queft, there ceas'd his care.
Down he defcended from his fnow foft chair,

But all unwares with his cold-kind embrace
Unhous'd thy virgin foul from her fair biding place.
Yet art thou not inglorious in thy fate;
For fo Apollo, with unweeting hand,
Whilome did flay his dearly-loved mate,
Young Hyacinth born on Eurota's ftrand,
Young Hyacinth the pride of Spartan land;

But then transform'd him to a purple flower:
Alack that fo to change thee Winter had no power.

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Yet can I not persuade me thou art dead,

Or that thy corfe corrupts in earth's dark womb,
Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed,
Hid from the world in a low delved tomb;
Could Heav'n for pity thee so strictly doom ?

Oh no! for fomething in thy face did shine
Above mortality, that fhow'd thou waft divine.
Refolve me then, oh Soul most surely bleft,
(If fo it be that thou these plaints doft hear)
Tell me bright Spirit where'er thou hovereft,
Whether above that high firft-moving sphere,
Or in th' Elyfian fields (if fuch there were)

O fay me true, if thou wert mortal wight,
And why from us so quickly thou didst take thy fight..






Wert thou fome ftar which from the ruin'd roof
Of shak'd Olympus by mifchance didft fall;
Which careful Jove in nature's true behoof
Took up, and in fit place did reinstall ?
Or did of late earth's fons befiege the wall

Of theeny Heav'n, and thou fome Goddess fled
Amongst us here below to hide thy nectar'd head ?

Or wert thou that just maid who once before
Forfook the hated earth, O tell me footh,
And cam'ft again to visit us once more?
Or wert thou that sweet smiling Youth?
Or that crown'd matron fage white-robed Truth?
Or any other of that heav'nly brood
Let down in cloudy throne to do the world fome good?


Or wert thou of the golden-winged host,
Who having clad thyfelf in human weed,
To earth from thy prefixed feat didft poft,
And after short abode fly back with speed,
As if to show what creatures Heav'n doth breed,
Thereby to fet the hearts of men on fire
To fcorn the fordid world, and unto heav'n aspire?

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But oh why didft thou not stay here below
To bless us with thy heav'n-lov'd innocence,
To flake his wrath whom fin hath made our foe,




47. Or did of late earth's fons, &c.] When the Giants invaded Heaven, the Deities filed and concealed themfelves in various fhapes. Ovid. Met. V. 319.

50. Or wert thou that just maid, &c.] Aftrea, or the Goddess of Juftice, who, offended with the crimes of men, forfook the earth. Ovid. Met. I. 150.

To turn fwift rufhing black perdition hence,
Or drive away the flaughtering peftilence,

To ftand 'twixt us and our deserved smart ?
But thou canft beft perform that office where thou art. 70
Then thou the Mother of fo fweet a Child
Her falfe imagin'd lofs, ceafe to lament,
And wifely learn to curb thy forrows wild ;
Think what a present thou to God haft fent,
And render him with patience what he lent;


This if thou do, he will an offspring give That till the world's last end shall make thy name to live.


Anno Etatis 19. ( 1627.) At a Vacation Exercife in the college, part Latin, part English. The Latin fpeeches ended, the English thus began.


AIL native language, that by finews weak bet Didit move my first endeavoring tongue to speak a And mad'st imperfect words with childish trips, Half unpronounc'd, flide through my infant-lips,! Driving dumb filence from the portal door, Where he had mutely fat two years: before: Here I falute thee, and thy pardon afk, That now I ufe thee in my latter task: Small lofs it is that thence can come unto thee,, I know my tongue but little grace can do thee: Thou need'ft not be ambitious to be first, Believe me I have thither packt the worst: And, if it happen as I did forecast, The daintieft difhes fhall be ferv'd up laft.



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