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TO MR. LAWRENCE.

Lawrenee, of virtnous father virtnous son,

Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire,
Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire
Help waste a sullen day, what may be won

From the hard season gaining? Time will run i
On smoother, till Favonins roinspire
The frozen earth, and elothe in fresh attire
The lily and rose, that neither sow'd nor spun.

What neat repast shall feast us, light and ehoiee,

Of Attiek taste, with wine, whenee we may rise 10
To hear the lute well toueh'd, or artful vowe

Warble immortal notes and Tusean air?

He who of those delights ean judge, and spare
To interpose them oft, is not unwise.

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TO CYR1ACK SKINNER.

Cyriaek, whose grandsire, on the royal beneh
Of British Themis, with no mean applause
Pronouneed, and in his volumes taught, our laws,
Whieh others at their bar so often wreneh;

To-day deep thoughts resolve with me to dreneh $
In mirth, that, after, no repenting draws;
Let Euelid rest, and Arehimedes pause,

And what the Swede intends, and what the Freneh.

To measure life learn thou betimes, and know

Toward 8olid good what leads the nearest way; 10
For other things mild Heaven a time ordains,

And disapproves that eare, though wise in show,
That with superflnous burden loads the day,
And, when God sends a eheerful hour, refrains.

talents, Matt . Xxv. And he speaks with great medesty of himself, a* if ho had not tlve, or two, hut only ono talent.— Newton.

14. 8tand and watt. My own opinion is, that this is the noblest of Miiton's Sounets.—Rrvdokn.

8onnet XV.—The w virtnous father," Henry Lawrenee, was member for Herefordshire in the Little Parliament whieh began in 1053, and was aetive in settiing the proteetorate of Cromweli. The famiiy appears to hare been seated not far from .Miiton's neighbourboed in Buekinghamshire.—T. Warton. This Henry Lawrenee, the "virtnous son," is the author of a work snited to MiMon's taste, on the subjeet of whieh l make no doubt

he and the author by the fire helped to wastt many a sullen day. II is entitled, "Of our Communion and Warre with Angels." Ae. l suppose him also the same who printed "A Vindieation of the 8eriptures and Cbristian Ordinanees."— Tonn.

8onnbt XV1. —Cyriaek 8kiuner was one of the prineipal memWrs of Harrington's poiitieal elub. Woed says, that he was an ingenious yonng gentleman, and seholar to John Miiton.

8. And what ibr 8teede intends. Charles Gustavus. Ring of 8weden, was at this time waging war with Peland; and Iho Freneh with the 8paniards in the Netherlands.

XVl1.

TO THE SAME.

Cyriaek, this three years day these eyes, though elear,

To outward view, of blemish or of spot,

Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot;

Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear
Of sun, or moon, or star, throughout the year, 5

Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not

Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot

Of heart or hope; but still bear up and steer
Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask?

The eonseienee, friend, to have lost them overplied 10

In liberty's defenee, my noble task,
Of whieh all Europe rings from side to side.

This thought might lead me through the world's vain mask

Content though blind, had I no better guide.

XVll1.

ON H1S DECEASED W1FE.

Metuocgut I saw my late espoused saint
Brought to me, like Aleestis, from the grave,
Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave,

Reseued from death by foree, though pale and faint.

Mine, as whom wash'd from spot of ehild-bed taint 5
Purifieation in the old Law did save,
And sueh, as yet onee more I trust to have
Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint;—

Came, vested all in white, pure as her mind:

Her faee was veil'd; yet to my faneied sight 10
Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shined

So elear, as in no faee with more delight.
But, O, as to embraee me she inelined,
I waked; she fled; and day brought baek my night.

8on)tet XVl1.—8. Of heart or hope„ One of Miiton's eharaeteristies was a singular fortitnde of ndnd, arising from a eonseiousness of superior abiiities, and a eonvietion that his eause was just.—T. Warton.

10. To have lost them, Ae . When he was employed to answer 8almasins, one of his eyes was almost gone, and the ysieiaus predieted lhe loss of both, if proeeeded. But he says, in answer to Du Moniin, "1 did not long balanee whether my duty should be preferred to my eyes." What a noble sentiment; and how eneouraging sneh iines from the greatest of aii men as well as the greatest of all poets, to those who are labouring in the eause of Liin-rty and Humanity l

8oxnet XVUi.—l. Methangld, Ae. llaleigh's elegant 8ounet, ealled "A Vision

upon the Faerie Qneene," lsee "Compendinm of Rngiish Literature," p. 151,l begins thus,—

Me tBought l saw tIle grave vbere Laura lay; and here, perbaps, the idea of a 8ounet in the form of a vision was snggested to Miiton. This 8ounet was written al,out the year 1.'.,J-. on the death of his seeond wife. Catharine, the danghter of Captain Woedeoek, of Haekney. 8he died in ehiid-bed of a danghter, wRhin a year after their marriage. Miiton had now been long totally biind: so that this ndght have been oue of his day-dreams. —T. Waktox.

2. Meutis. This refers to the Aleestis of Euripides", in whieh Hereules )Jrnvr's grtat sonl brings beek to Admetus, from the realms of Plato, his wife Ateestis. who had resuivod to die to sate her hushand.

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REMARKS

ON TllE

MORN1NG OF CHR1ST'S NATIVITY.

Tnere is no doubt that the prima stamina of the hard's divine epies are exhibited in this poem; bnt it has several peeuliarities, whieh distinguish it from the poet's other eompositions: it is more truly lyrieal; the stanza is beantifully eonstrueted; and there is a solemuity, a grandenr, and a swell of verse, whieh is magieai. The images are magnifieent, and they have this superiority of exeellenee; that none of them are merely deseriptive, but have a mixture of intelleetnality and spiritnality.

8ome one has said that Miiton had no ear for the harmony of versifieation; this Hymn proves that his ear was perfeet. 8penser's Alexandrines are fine; Milton's are more like the deepest swell of the organ.

When it is reeolleeted that this pieee was produeed by the author at the age of twenty-one, all doep thinkers of faney and sensibiiity must pore upon it with delighted wondev. The vigour, the grandenr, the imaginativeness of the eoneeption; the foree and maturity of langnage; the bound, the gathering strength, the thundering roll of the metre; the largeness of the views; the extent of the learning; the solemu and awful tones; the enthusiasm, and a eertain spell in the epithets, whieh pnts the reader into a state of mysterions exeitement, may be better felt than deseribed.

I venture to pronounee this poem far superior to the "L'Allegro" and "I1 Penserose," though the popular taste may not eoneur with me: it is mueh deeper; mueh more original; and of a nobler east of materials. The two latter poems are mainly deseriptive of the inanimate beauties of ereation: it is the grand purpose of poetry to embody invisible spirits; to give shape and form to the ideal; to bring ont into palpable lines and eolours the intelleetnal world; to assoeiate with that whieh is material that whieh is purely spiritnal; to travel into air, and open upon the faney other ereations. Faney is bnt one faeulty of the mind; it is a mirror, of whose impressions the transfer upon paper by the medinm of langnage is a single operation.

Miiton, before he eould write the Hymu, must have already exereised and enriehed all his faeulties with vast and sueeessful eulture. He had travelled in those dim regions, into whieh young minds seareely ever venture; and he had earried a gnarded lamp with him, so as to see all around him, before and behind; yet not so peering and reekless as to destroy the religious awe. The dne position of the lights and shades was never infrtnged upon. 8ir Kqeuton Rrydqes.

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i.

Tnis is the month, and this the happy morn,

Wherein the Son of Heaven's Eternal King,

Of wedded Maid and Virgin Mother born,

Our great redemption from above did bring;

For so the holy sages onee did sing, I

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

I1.

That glorious form, that light unsufferable,

And that far-beaming blaze of majesty,

Wherewith he wont at Heaven's high eouneil-table 10

To sit the midst of Trinal Unity,

lie laid aside; and here with us to be,

Forsook the eourts of everlasting day,
And ehose with us a darksome house of mortal elay.

in.

Say, heavenly Muse, shall not thy saered vein 10

Afford a present to the Infant God?

Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain,

To weleome him to this his new abode,

Now, while the heaven, by the sun's team untrod,

Hath took no print of the approaehing light, 20 And all the spangled host keep wateh iu squadrons bright?

lV.

See, how from far, upon the eastern road,

The star-led wisards haste with odours sweet:

O, run, prevent them with thy humble ode,

And lay it lowly at his blessed feet; 25

Have thou the honour first thy Lord to greet,

And join thy voiee unto the angel quire,
From out his seeret altar toueh'd with hallow'd fire.

s I eaunot doubt that this hymu was the eongenial p)vlutlo of that holy and inspired imagination whieh predured the " Paradisr Lost," nearly forty years afterwards.—B,nts;"*. iio it renumbered that this sublime Hymn was written in his twenty first year, prohably as a eoiiege exereise.

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THE HYMN.

L

It was the winter wild,

While the heaven-born ehild 30
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies;

Nature, in awe to him,

Had doff'd her gaudy trim,
With her great Master so to sympathise:

It was no season then for her Si

To wanton with the sun, her lusty paramour,

Ii.

Only with speeehes fair
She wooes the gentle air

To hide her guilty front with innoeent snow;
And on her naked shame, 40
Pollute with sinful blame,

The saintly veil of maiden white to throw;
Confounded, that her Maker's eyes
Should look so near upon her foul deformities.

in.

But he, her fears to eease, 45
Sent down the meek-eyed Peaee:

She, erown'd with olive green, eame softly sliding
Down through the turning sphere,
His ready harbinger,

With turtle wing the amorous elouds dividing; 00
And, waving wide her myrtle wand,
She strikes a universal peaee through sea and land.

lV.

No war, or battle's sound,
AVas heard the world around:

The idle spear and shield were high up hung; M
The hooked ehariot stood
Unstain'd with hostile blood;

The trumpet spako not to the armed throng;
And kings sat still with awful eye,

As if they surely knew their sovran Lord was by, eo
v.

But peaeeful was the night,
Wherein the Prinee of light

His reign of peaee upon the earth began:

45. To erase, uml aetively. 52. 8he srnAr/ a ptntr. This is a pwuliar pbraseology, showing the rapidity

with whieh it wu done, as it wore with
one stroke.
56. The hooked ehariot, 4e. Nothing

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