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He, sov'reign Priest, stonping his regal head,
That dropt with odoroas oil down his fair eyes,
Poor fleshy tabernacle entered,
His starry front low-rooft beneath the skies :
O what a mask was there, what a disguise !
Yet more 3
the stroke of death he must abide,
Then lies him meekly down fast by bis brethren's side.
These latest scenes confine my roving verse ;
To this horizon is my Phæbns bound;
His godlike acts, and his temptations fierce,
And former sufferings, other where are found;
25 Loud o'er the rest Cremona's trump doth sound;
Me softer airs befit, and softer strings
Of lute, or viol still, more apt for mournful things.
Befriend me, Night, best patroness of grief;
Over the pole thy thickest ma ntle throw,
And work my flatter'd fancy to belief,
That Heav'n and Earth are colour'd with my woe;
My sorrows are tuo dark for day to know :
I he leaves should all be black whereon I write, And letters, where my tears have wash'd, a warnish white.
See, see the chariot, and those rushing wheels,
That whirl'd the Prophet up at Chebar fiood;
My spirit some transporting cherub feels,
26 “ Cremona's trump doth sound ;.... alluding to the Christiad of Vida, a native of Cremona.
To bear me where the tow'rs of Salem stoud,
Once glorious tow'rs, now sunk in guiltless blood;
There doth my soul in holy vision sit,
In pensive trance, and anguish, and ecstatic fit.
Mine eye hath found that saj sepulchral rock
That was the casket of Heay'm's richest store,
And here though grief my feeble hands up lock,
Yet on the soften'd quarry would I score
My plaining versé as lively as before ;
For sure so well instructed are my tears,
That they would fitly fall in order'd characters.
Or should I thence, burried on viewless wing,
Take up a weeping on the mountains wild,
The gentle neighbourhood of grove and spring
Would soon unbosom all their echoes mild,
And I (for grief is easily beguild)
Might think th' infection of my sorrows lond
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.
FLY, envions 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 womh 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 entomb'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
And perfectly divine,
With truth, and peace, and love, shall ever shine
About the supreme throne
Of biin, t' whose happy-making sight alone
When once our heav'nly-guided soul shall climb;
Then, all this earthly grossness quit,
* In these poems where no date is prefixed, and no circumstances direct us to ascertain time when they were composed, we follow the order of Milton's own editions. And before this copy of verses, it appears from the manuscript, that the poet had written To be set on a clock-case.
Attir'd with stars, we shall forever sit,
Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee, O Time.
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 list’ning night;
Now mourn; and, if sad share with us to bear
Yanr fiery essence can distil no tear,
Burn in your sighs and borrow
Seas wept from our deep sorrow:
He, wbo with all Heav'n's-heraldry whilere
Enter'd the world, now bleeds to give us ease;
Alas, how snon our sin
Sore doth begin
His infancy to seize!
O more exceeding love, or ław more just?
Just law inieed, but more exceeding love!
For we, by rightsul 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
And the full wruth beside
Of vengert jawice böre for our excess;
Aud seals obedience first, with wounding sinart,
BLEST pair of Syrens, pledges of Heav'n's joy,
Sphere born harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse,
Wed your 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 undisturb'd song of pure consent,
Aye sung before the sapphire-colour'd throne
To hin that sits thereon,
With saintly shout, and solemn jubilee;
Where the bright Seraphim, in burning row,
Their loud-uplifted angel-trumpets blow;
And the cherubic host, in thousand quires,
Tonch their immortal harps of golden wires,
With those just Spirits that wear victorious palms,
Hymns devout and holy psalms
That we on earth, with undiscording voice,
May rightly answer that melodious noise;
As once we did, till disproportion'd sin
Jarr'd against nature's chime, and with harsh din
Broke the fair music that all creatures made
their great lord, whose love their motion sway'd
perfect diapason, whilst they stood