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I pray thee then deny me not thy aid
For this fame fmall neglect that I have made :
But hafte thee ftrait to do me once a pleasure,
And from thy wardrobe bring thy chiefeft treasure,
Not thofe new fangled toys, and trimming flight
Which takes our late fantaftics with delight,
But cull thofe richeft robes, and gay'st attire
Which deepest spirits, and choiceft wits defire:
I have fome naked thoughts that rove about,
And loudly knock to have their paffage out;
And weary of their place do only ftay
Till thou haft deck'd them in thy best array;
That fo they may without fufpect or fears
Fly fwiftly to this fair affembly's ears.
Yet I had rather, if I were to chufe,
Thy fervice in fome grave subject use,
Such as may make thee fearch thy coffers round,
Before thou clothe my fancy in fit found:
Such where the deep tranfported mind may foar
Above the wheeling poles, and at Heav'n's door
Look in, and fee each blissful Deity
How he before the thunderous throne doth lie,
Lift'ning to what unfhorn Apollo fings
To th' touch of golden wires, while Hebe brings
Immortal nectar to her kingly fire:
Then paffing through the spheres of watchful.fire,
And mifty regions of wide air next under,
And hills of fnow and lofts of piled thunder,
May tell at length how green-ey'd Neptune raves,
In Heav'n's defiance mustering all his waves;
Then fing of fecret things that came to pafs
When beldam Nature in her cradle was;
And laft of kings and queens and heroes old,
Such as the wife Demodocus once told
In folemn fongs at king Alcinous feast,
While fad Ulyffes foul and all the reft
Are held with his melodious harmony
In willing chains and fweet captivity.
But fie, my wand'ring Mufe, how thou doft stray!
Expectance calls thee now another way,
Thou know'ft it must be now thy only bent
To keep in compass of thy predicament :
Then quick about thy purpos'd business come,
That to the next I may refign my room.
Then Ens is reprefented as father of the Predicaments his ten fons, whereof the eldest stood for Substance with his canons, which Ens thus fpeaking, explains.
OOD luck befriend thee, Son; for at thy birth 60
faery ladies danc'd upon the
Yet there is fomething that doth force my fear,
For once it was my dismal hap to hear
A Sibyl old, bow-bent with crooked age
That far events full wifely could prefage,
And in time's long and dark prospective glafs
Forefaw what future days fhould bring to pafsi
Your fon, faid fhe, (nor can you it prevent)
Shall fubject be to many an Accident.
Thy droufy nurfe hath fworn she did them fpie
Come tripping to the room where thou didst lie,
And sweetly finging round about thy bed
Strow all their bleffings on thy fleeping head.
She heard them give thee this, that thou shouldst ftill 65
From eyes of mortals walk invisible:
O'er all his brethren he fhall reign as king,
Yet every one shall make him underling,
And thofe that cannot live from him asunder
Ungratefully shall ftrive to keep him under,
In worth and excellence he fhall out-go them,
Yet being above them, he shall be below them ;
From others he shall stand in need of nothing,
Yet on his brothers fhall depend for clothing.
To find a foe it fhall not be his hap,
And peace fhall lull him in her flow'ry lap;
Yet fhall be live in ftrife, and at his door
Devouring war shall never cease to roar:
Yea it fhall be his natural property
To harbour thofe that are at enmity.
What pow'r, what force, what mighty fpell, if not
Your learned hands can loose this Gordian knot ?
90 The next Quantity and Quality spake in profe, then Relation was call'd by his name.
IVERS arife; whether thou be the fon
Of utmost Tweed, or Oofe, or gulphy Dun,
Or Trent, who like fome earth born giant fpreads
His thirty arms along th' indented meads,
Or fullen Mole that runneth underneath,
Of Severn swift, guilty of maiden's death,
Or rocky Avon, or of fedgy Lee,
Or coaly Tine, or ancient hallow'd Dee,
Or Humber loud that keeps the Scythian's name,
Or Medway fmooth, or royal towred Thame.
[The reft was profe.]
91. Rivers arife, &c.] In invoking thefe rivers, Milton had his eye particularly upon that admirable epifode in Spenfer, of the marriage of the Thames and the Medway, where the several rivers are introduced in honor of the ceremony. Fairy Queen, B. IV. Cant.II,
On the MORNING of. CHRIST'S NATIVITY. Compos'd in 1629.
HIS is the month, and this the happy morn,
Wherein the Son of Heav'n's eternal King
Of wedded Maid, and Virgin-Mother born,
Our great redemption from above did bring;
For fo the holy fages once did fing
That he our deadly forfeit fhould release,
And with his Father work us a perpetual peace.
That glorious form, that light unfufferable,
And that far-beaming blaze of majesty,
Wherewith he wont at Heav'n's high council-table
To fit the midst of Trinal Unity,.
He laid afide; and here with us to be,
Forfook the courts of everlasting day,
And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.
Say heav'nly Mufe, fhall not thy facred vein
Afford a prefent to the Infant God?
Haft thou no verfe, no hymn, or folemn ftrain,
To welcome him to this his new abode,
Now while the Heav'n by the fun's team untrod,
Hath took no print of the approaching light,
And all the spangled hoft keep watch in squadrons bright?
See how from far upon the eastern road
The ftar-led wifards hafte with odors sweet;
O run, prevent them with thy humble ode,
And lay it lowly at his bleffed feet;
Have thou the honor firft, thy Lord to greet,
And join thy voice unto the Angel quire,
From out his facred altar touch'd with hallow'd fire.
T was the winter wild,
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies;
Nature in awe to him
Had dofft her gaudy trim,
With her great Mafter fo to fympathize:
It was no season then for her
To wanton with the fun her lufty paramour.
Only with fpeeches fair
She woo's the gentle air
G To hide her guilty front with innocent fnow,
And on her naked shame,
Pollute with finful blame,
The faintly veil of maiden white to throw,
Confounded, that her Maker's eyes
Should look fo near upon her foul deformities,
ld look to neat upon for
But he her fears to cease
Sent down the meek ey'd Peace;
She crown'd with olive green, came foftly fliding
Down through the turning sphere
His ready harbinger,
With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing,
And waving wide her myrtle wand,
She ftrikes an univerfal peace through fea and land.
No war, or battel's found
Was heard the world around: