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Their Hydra heads, and the falfe North displays Her broken league to imp their ferpent wings. 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 clear'd from the shameful brand Of public fraud. In vain doth valor bleed, While avarice and rapin share the land.
*To the Lord General CROMWELL.
Cromwell, our chief of men, who through a cloud
of Duke Hamilton. In the printed These lines are thus in the printed copies we have
as if the whole intent of the folemn In the printed copies it ftands thus, league and covenant had been to
10. For what can war, &c]
that through a crowd Not of war only, but diftractions
Not of war only, but detractions rude,
To peace and truth thy glorious way hast plough'd, And on the neck of crowned fortune proud
Haft rear'd God's trophies, and his work pursued, While Darwen stream with blood of Scots imbrued, And Dunbar field refounds thy praises loud, And Worcester's laureat wreath. Yet much remains Το conquer still; peace hath her victories
No lefs renown'd than war: new foes arise Threatning to bind our fouls with secular chains:
7. While Darwen ftream &c] In the printed copies it is
While Darwent ftreams &c The Darwen or Derwen is a small river near Prefton in Lancashire, mentioned by Camden; and there Cromwell routed the Scotch army under Duke Hamilton in August 1648. The battels of Dunbar and Worcefter are too well known to be particulariz'd, both fought on the memorable 3d of September, the one in 1650, and the other in 1651.
9. And Worcester's laureat wreath.] It was fo corrected, very much for the better, from what was before in the Manufcript,
And twenty battels more
Help us to fave free confcience from the
Of hireling wolves, whose gospel is their maw.
* To Sir HENRY VANE the younger.
Vane, young in years, but in fage counfel old,
Than whom a better fenator ne'er held
The helm of Rome, when gowns not arms re
The fierce Epirot and the African bold,
No lefs renown'd than war:] In the printed copies it is
peace has her victories
No less than those of war:
I. but in fage counsel old,] This is much better than the printed copies
in fage councils old,
7. Then to advife &c] In the
and afterwards in fecular chains for Manufcript there was at firft And with fecular chains.
* There is no knowing for certain when this fonnet was compos'd; but we follow the order wherein they stand and are number'd in Milton's Manufcript, and probably it was compos'd foon after the foregoing one to Cromwell, and upon the fame occafion of the minifters propofals relating, I fuppofe, to their maintenance, which was then under confideration.
inftead of Then: but afterwards it was corrected as it ftands in the printed copies. But in the remainder of thefe two verfes, as they ftand in the printed copies, the meter is fpoil'd in one, and the fenfe in the other.
Then to advise how war may b best upheld,
Mann'd by her two main nerves
iron and gold.
Whether to fettle peace, or to unfold
The drift of hollow, ftates hard to be fpell'd, Then to advise how war may beft upheld Move by her two main nerves, iron and gold, In all her equipage: befides to know
Both spiritual pow'r and civil, what each means, What fevers each, thou haft learn'd, which few
The bounds of either fword to thee we owe:
9. befides to know &c] In the printed editions this third ftanza wants one whole line, and gives us another line fo much corrupted as to be utter nonsense:
befides to know What ferves each, thou haft learn'd,
which few have done.
The Manuscript supplies the one,
and corrects the other. In the Manufcript it was originally thus,
befides to know What pow'r the Church, and what the Civil means,
Thou teachest best, which few
have ever done.
- besides to know
Both fpiritual pow'r and civil, what each means
Thou haft learn'd well, a praise which few have won.
At laft it was corrected, as we have caused it to be printed.
13. Therefore on thy firm hand better in the Manufcript than in &c] These two lines are infinitely the printed editions;
Therefore on thy right hand religion leans,
And reckons thee in chief her eldeft fon.
It was at firft in the Manufcript right hand, but alter'd to firm band.
* On the late maffacre in Piemont. Avenge, O Lord, thy flaughter'd faints, whofe bones Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains cold; Ev'n them who kept thy truth fo pure of old, When all our fathers worshipt ftocks and stones, Forget not in thy book record their groans
"Royal Highness in a most fup" pliant manner, imploring a re"vocation of the faid edict, and " that being receiv'd into priftin "favor, they might be restored to "the liberty granted them by your
predeceffors, a part of your army "fell upon them, moft cruelly flew "several, put others in chains, and
Among our author's ftate-let-" they apply'd themselves to your ters there are several in Cromwell's name addrefs'd to the Duke of Savoy, and other potentates and ftates, complaining of this perfecution of the proteftants. His letter to the Duke of Savoy begins thus. "Redditæ funt nobis Ge❝ nevâ &c. Letters have been "fent us from Geneva, as also "from the Dauphinate, and many "other places bordering upon 66 your territories, wherein we are "given to understand, that fuch "of your Royal Highnefs's fub"jects as profefs the reform'd re"ligion, are commanded by your "edict and by your authority, " within three days after the pro"mulgation of your edict, to de66 part their native feats and habi"tations, upon pain of capital pu"nishment, and forfeiture of all "their fortunes and eftates, unless
compell'd the reft to fly into "defert places and to the moun"tains cover'd with fnow, where "fome hundreds of families are "reduced to such distress, that it "is greatly to be feared, they will "in a fhort time all miferably pe"rifh, thro' cold and hunger. &c." These letters are dated in May 1655, and about the fame time it is probable this fonnet was compos'd, which was added in the edition of 1673.
1. Avenge, O Lord, &c] Nor was this prayer in behalf of the perfecuted proteftants entirely without effect. For Cromwell exerted