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Thy drousy nurse hath sworn she did them spie
Come tripping to the room where thou didst lie,
And sweetly singing round about thy bed
Strow all their blessings on thy sleeping head.
She heard them give thee this, that thou shouldst still
From eyes of mortals walk invisible:
Yet there is something that doth force my fear,
For once it was my dismal hap to hear
A Sibyl old, bow-bent with crooked

That far events full wisely could presage,
And in time's long and dark prospective glass
Foresaw what future days should bring to pass;
Your fon, said she, (nor can you it prevent)
Shall subject be to many an Accident.
O’er all his brethren he shall reign as king,
Yet every one shall make him underling,
And those that cannot live from him afunder
Ungratefully shall strive to keep him under,
In worth and excellence he shall out-go them,
Yet being above them, he shall be below them;



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the loves of Mars and Venus, and the de- rest are affected in the manner here describ’d. îtruction of Troy; and Ulysses and the 56. - of thy predicament: ] What the



From others he shall stand in need of nothing,
Yet on his brothers shall depend for clothing.
To find a foe it shall not be his hap,
And peace shall lull him in her flow'ry lap;
Yet shall he live in strife, and at his door
Devouring war shall never cease to roar:
Yea it shall be his natural property
To harbour those that are at enmity.
What pow'r, what force, what mighty spell, if not
Your learned hands, can loose this Gordian knot ? go

The Greeks called a category, Boëthius first named has its name; and Camden's account of this a predicament : and if the reader is acquainted river shows the propriety of the epithet gulphy. with Aristotle's Categories, or Burgersdicius, “ Danus, commonly Don and Dune, seems or any of the old logicians, he will not want to be so call’d, because it is carried in a low what follows to be explain’d to him; and it deep channel ; for that is the signification of cannot well be explain'd to him, if he is un- us the British word Dan." See Camden's Yorkacquainted with that kind of logic.

shire. Or Trent, who like some earth-born

giant &c. This description is much nobler 91. Rivers arife ; &c.] In invoking these than Spenser's St. 35. rivers Milton had his eye particularly upon

And bounteous Trent, that in himself enthat admirable episode in Spenser of the mar

seams riage of the Thames and the Medway, where

Both thirty sorts of fish, and thirty fundry the several rivers are introduc'd in honor of

streams. the ceremony. Faery Queen B. 4. Cant. 11. Of utmost Tweed; fo Spenser St. 36.

The name is of Saxon original, but (as Cam

den observes in his Staffordshire.) “ some igAnd Twede the limit betwixt Logris land

“ norant and idle pretenders imagin the And Albany

name to be derived from the French word Or Oise, either that in Yorkshire, or that in Trente, and upon that account have feign'd Cambridgeshire, both mention'd by Spenser. thirty rivers running into it, and likewise Or gulphy Dun, I find not in Spenser, but sup- “ so many kinds of fish swimming in it.” pose the Don is meant from whence Doncaster However this notion might very well be



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The next Quantity and Quality spake in prose, then

Relation was call’d by his name. RIV

IVERS arife; whether thou be the fon

Of utmost Tweed, or Oose, or gulphy Dun,
Or Trent, who like some earth-born giant spreads
His thirty arms along th' indented meads,
Or fullen Mole that runneth underneath,
Or Severn swift, guilty of maidens' death,
Or rocky Avon, or of sedgy Lee,
Or coaly Tine, or ancient hallow'd Dee,



adopted in poetry. Or sulle 1 Mole &c. So Wall. St. 36. Or ancient ballow'd Dee; so Spenser St. 32.

Spenser St. 39. And Mole, that like a noulling mole doth And following Dee, which Britons long make

ygone His way still under ground, till Thamis he Did call divine, that doth by Chester tend. o'ertake.

See Lycidas too ver 55. Or Humber loud &c. See the same account in Camden's Surry. Or

So Spenser speaks of this Scythian king, and Severn swift &c. We shall have a fuller ac- of his being drown'd in the river, St. 38. count of this in the Mask. Or rocky Avon, Spenser more largely St. 31. .

And nam'd the river of his wretched fate; But Avon marched in more stately path,

Whose bad condition yet it doth retain,

Oft tossed with his storms, which therein Proud of his adamants, with which he shines

still remain. And glisters wide, as als of wondrous Bath And Bristow fair, which on his waves he And the Medway and the Thame are join'd tobuilded hath.

gether, as they are married in Spenser. I Or sedgy Lee, this river divides Middlesex and wonder that Milton has paid no particular Effex. Spenser thus describes it, St. 29.

compliment to the river flowing by Cambridge

(this exercise being made and spoken there) as The wanton Lee that oft doth lose his way.

Spenser has done St. 34. Or coaly Tine, Spenser describes it by the Piets




Or Humber loud that keeps the Scythian's name,
Or Medway smooth, or royal towred Thame.

[The rest was profe.]


* Compos'd 1629.


THIS 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 so the holy sages once did sing,

That he our deadly forfeit should release,
And with his Father work us a perpetual peace.



That glorious form, that light unsufferable,
And that far-beaming blaze of majesty,
Wherewith he wont at Heav'n's high council-table 10
To fit the midst of Trinal Unity,

He Thence doth by Huntingdon and Cambridge With many a gentle Mufe, and many a learnAlit,

ed wit. My mother Cambridge, whom as with a crown * To the title of this Ode we have added He doth adorn, and is adorn'd of it

the date, which is prefixed in the edition of And 1645, Compos'd 1629, so that Milton was exercise at Cambridge; and there is not only then 21 years old. He speaks of this poem great learning shown in it, but likewise a fine in the conclusion of his sixth elegy to Charles vein of poetry. Deodati : and it was probably made as an

He laid aside; and here with us to be,

Forsook the courts of everlasting day, And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.



Say heav'nly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein
Afford a present to the Infant God?
Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain,
To welcome him to this his new abode,
Now while the Heav’n by the sun's team untrod,

Hath took no print of the approaching light,
And all the spangled host keep watch in squadrons





See how from far upon the eastern road
The star-led wisards haste with odors sweet:
O run, prevent them with thy humble ode,
And lay it lowly at his blessed feet ;
Have thou the honor first, thy Lord to greet,

28. From

T t 2

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