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As when thofe hinds that were transform'd to frogs 5
Rail'd at Latona's twin-born
Which after held the fun and moon in fee.
But this is got by casting pearl to hogs; That bawl for freedom in their fenfeless mood,
And ftill revolt when truth would fet them free. Licence they mean when they cry Liberty ; For who loves that, muft first be wife and good; But from that mark how far they rove we see For all this waste of wealth, and lofs of blood.
* To Mr. H. LAW ES on his Airs. Harry, whofe tuneful and well measur'd fong
And hate the truth whereby they fhould be free.
*This fonnet was also firft added in the edition of 1673, and in Milton's Manufcript it is dated Febr. 9. 1645, and faid to be wrote to Mr. Lawes on the publishing of his airs. This Mr. Henry Lawes was a gentleman of his Majefty's chapel, and one of his band of mufic, and an intimate friend of Milton, as appears by his firft putlifhing the Mask in 1637, the airs of which he fet to mufic, and probably too thofe of his Arcades. He was educated under Signor Q4
First taught our English mufic how to fpan Words with juft note and accent, not to scan With Midas ears, committing fhort and long; Thy worth and skill exempts thee from the throng, With praise enough for envy to look wan;
To after thou shalt be writ the man,
That with smooth air could'ft humour beft our
Thou honor'ft verfe, and verfe muft lend her wing To honor thee, the priest of Phœbus quire, 10
That tun'ft their happiest lines in hymn, or story.
Than his Cafella, whom he woo'd to fing
* On the religious memory of Mrs. Catharine
When faith and love, which parted from thee never,
9. and verfe must lend her wing] There are three manufcript copies of this fonnet, two by Milton, the fecond corrected, and the third by another hand; and in all of them we read muft lend her wing, which we prefer to must fend her wing, as it is in the printed copies.
12. Dante fhall give &c] Thefe verfes were thus at firft,
Fame by the Tufcan's leave fhall
*To this fonnet, which was first printed in the edition of 1673, we have added the title which is in Milton's Manufcript. Who this Mrs. Thomson was, we cannot be certain; but I find in the accounts 13. Than his Cafella, whom he of Milton's life, that when he was woo'd to fing &c] This refers first made Latin fecretary, he lodgto the fecond Canto of Dante's ed at one Thomson's next door Purgatorio, where the poet relates to the Bull-head tavern at Chahis meeting with Cafella in purga. ring-Crofs. This Mrs. Thomfon
Meekly thou didst refign this earthy load
Of death, call'd life; which us from life doth fever. Thy works and alms and all thy good endevor
Stay'd not behind, nor in the grave were trod; But as faith pointed with her golden rod, Follow'd thee up to joy and blifs for ever.
Love led them on, and faith who knew them best Thy hand-maids, clad them o'er with purple beams And azure wings, that up they flew so drest, 11 And spake the truth of thee on glorious themes
was in all probability one of that family.
3. Meekly thou didst refign &c] In the Manufcript thefe lines were thus at first,
Meekly thou didst refign this earthy clod
Of flesh and fin, which man from
Heav'n doth fever.
6. Stay'd not behind, &c] Inftead of these lines were the following at firft in the Manufcript,
Strait follow'd thee the path that
Up to the realm of peace and
joy for ever.
Faith fhow'd the way, and the who faw them beft
Thy hand-maids &c.
12. And spake the truth] There are also three manufcript copies of this fonnet, two by Milton, the fecond corrected, and the third by another hand; and in all of them we read And Spake the truth, which is more agreeable to fyntax, and better than And fpeak the truth, as it is in the printed copies.
*This and the two following fonnets are not found in the edi tion of Milton's poems in 1673, and the reafon of omitting them in the reign of Charles II is too obvious to need explaining. They were firft printed at the end of Philips's life of Milton, prefixed to the English translation of his stateletters, in 1694, which was twenty years after his death; they were afterwards cited by Toland in his life of Milton 1698; and as far as
Before the Judge, who thenceforth bid thee reft And drink thy fill of pure immortal streams. XV.
*To the Lord General FAIRFAX.
Fairfax, whofe name in arms through Europe rings,
I can perceive, they were not inferted among his other poems till the fifth edition in 1713. But the printed copies, probably being taken at firft from memory, are wonderfully incorrect; whole verfes are omitted, and the beauty of these fonnets is in great measure defac'd and destroy'd. It is therefore a fingular piece of good fortune, that they are ftill extant in Milton's Manufcript, the firft in his own hand-writing, and the others by another hand, as he had then loft his fight and having fuch an authentic copy, we fhall make it our ftandard, and thereby reftore thefe fonnets to their original beauty. This to the Lord General Fairfax appears from the Manufcript to have been addrefs'd to him at the fiege of Colchester, which was carried on in the summer of 1648.