« السابقةمتابعة »
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 sweetly excell'd. Reader, if thou art eagle-ey'd to cenfure their worth, I am not fearful to expose them to thy exacteft perufal.
POEMS on Several OCCASIONS.
ANNO ÆTATIS 17.
On the death of a fair Infant, dying of a cough,
Faireft flow'r no fooner blown but blasted, Soft filken primrose fading timelefly, Summer's chief honor, if thou hadft 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 blifs.
thought to kifs,
This elegy was not inferted in confequently a daughter of his the firft edition of the author's fifter Philips, and probably her firft poems printed in 1645, but was added in the fecond edition printed in 1673. It was compos'd in the year 1625, that being the 17th year of Milton's age. In fome editions the title runs thus, On the death of a fair Infant, a nephew of his, dying of a cough: but the fequel fhows plainly that the child was not a nephew, but a niece, and
But kill'd, alas, &c] Copied probably from this verse in Shakefpear's Venus and Adonis,
He thought to kifs him, and hath kill'd him fo.
For fince grim Aquilo his charioteer
By boiftrous rape
Thereby to wipe away th' infamous blot
Of long-uncoupled bed, and childlefs eld, [held. Which 'mongst the wanton Gods a foul reproach was III.*·
So mounting up in icy-pearled car,
Through middle empire of the freezing air
He wander'd long, till thee he fpy'd from far;
But all unwares with his cold-kind embrace Unhous'd thy virgin foul from her fair biding place.
8. For fince grim Aquilo &c] Boreas or Aquilo carried off by force Orithyia daughter of Erectheus king of Athens. Ovid. Met, VI. Fab. Milton hath invented this 9: fine fable of Winter's rape upon his fifter's daughter, on the fame grounds as that of Boreas on the daughter of Ereatheus, whom he ravith'd as the crofs'd over the fiver Ilyffus (as Apollodorus fays
lib. 3.) that is, fhe was drown'd in
12. th' infamous blot
lefs eld, &c] The author probably pronounced infamous with the middle fyllable long as it is in Latin. Eld is old age, a word used in innumerable places of Spenfer and our old writers. And in fay
Yet art thou not inglorious in thy fate:
Yet can I not perfuade me thou art dead,
Or that thy corfe corrupts in earth's dark womb, 30
Hid from the world in a low delved tomb;
Oh no! for fomething in thy face did shine
ing that long uncoupled bed and child-
Dux Erebi quondam tumidas ex-
Refolve me then, oh Soul moft surely bleft,
Oh fay me true, if thou wert mortal wight, And why from us fo quickly thou didst take thy flight.
Wert thou fome star which from the ruin'd roof