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Those rugged names to our like mouths grow sleek,
That would have made Quintilian stare and gasp, Thy age, like ours, O Soul of Sir John Cheek,
Hated not learning worse than toad or asp, When thou taught’st Cambridge, and king Edward
ON THE SAME.
I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs,
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes, and dogs :
Rail'd at Latona's twin-born progeny,
But this is got by casting pearls to hogs;
And still revolt when truth would set them free,
License they mean, when they cry liberty ;
But from that mark, how far they rove we see,
TO MR. H. LAWES, ON THE PUBLISHING HIS AIRS
HARRY, whose tuneful and well measured song
First taught our English music how to span
With Midas' ears, committing short and long; Thy worth and skill exempts thee from the throng,
With praise enough for Envy to look wan; To after age thou shalt be writ the man, That with smooth air, could'st humour best our tongue. Thou honour'st verse, and verse must lend her wing der Montrose. The Macdonalds of that family are styled, by way of distinction, Mac Collcittock,—that is, descendants of lame Colin. Galasp is a Scottish writer against the Independents ; for whom see Milton's verses On the Forcers of Conscience, &c. He is George Gillespie, one of the Scotch members of the Assembly of Divines.- Warton.
• The first professor of the Greek tongue in the university of Cambridge, and was afterwards made one of the tutors to Edward VI. See his Life by Strype, or in the Biographia Britannica.--Newton.
To honour thee, the priest of Phæbus' quire,
That tunest their happiest lines in hymn, or story. Dante shall give Fame leave to set thee higher
Than his Casella, whom woo'd to sing,
ON THE RELIGIOUS MEMORY OF MRS. CATHARINE
THOMSON, MY CHRISTIAN FRIEND,
Deceased December 16, 1646.* When Faith and Love, which parted from thee never,
Had ripen'd thy just soul to dwell with God,
Meekly thou didst resign this earthly load
Staid not behind, nor in the grave were trod;
Follow'd thee up to joy and bliss for ever.
Thy hand-maids, clad them o'er with purple beams,
And azure wings, that up they flew so dress’d, And spake the truth of thee, on glorious themes,
Before the Judge; who thenceforth bid thee rest, And drink thy fill of pure immortal streams.
TO THE LORD GENERAL FAIRFAX.
Fairfax, whose name in arms through Europe rings,
Filling each mouth with envy or with praise, And all her jealous monarchs with amaze, And rumours loud, that daunt remotest kings, Thy firm unshaken virtue ever brings
Victory liome, though new rebellions raise Their hydra heads, and the false North displays
Her broken league, to imp their serpent 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
• Dr. Newton found, in the accounts of Milton's life, that when he was first made Latin Secretary, he lodged at one Thomson's, next door to the Bull Head Tavern, at Charing Cross. This Mrs. Thomson was in all probability one of that family.
Of public fraud. In vain doth valour bleed,
TO THE LORD GENERAL CROMWELL.
CROMWELL, our chief of men, who, through a cloud
Not of war only, but detractions rude,
To peace & truth thy glorious way hast plouglı’d,
Hast rear'd God's trophies, and his work pursued;
And Dunbar field resounds thy praises loud,
To conquer still; peace hath her victories
No less renown'd than war: new foes arise,
Help us to save free conscience from the paw
TO SIR HENRY VANE TIE YOUNGER.
VANE, young in years, but in sage counsel old,
Than whom a better senator ne'er held
The fierce Epirot, and the African bold,
The drift of hollow states, hard to be spellid;
Move by her two main nerves, iron and gold,
Both spiritual power & civil, what each means,
What severs each, thou hast learn'd, which few have
Therefore, on thy firm hand Religion leans
• Sir Henry Vane the younger was the chief of the Independents, and therefore Milton's friend. He was the contriver of the Solemn League and Covenant. In the pamphlets of that age he is called Sir Humorous Vanity. He was beheaded in 1662.
ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEDMONT, 1655. AVENGE, O Lord, thy slaughter'd saints, whose bones
Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains cold;
When all our fathers worshipp'd stocks & stones, Forget not : in thy book record their groans,
Who were thy sheep, and, in their ancient fold
Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans The vales redoubled to the hills, and they
To Heaven. Their martyr'd blood & ashes sow
O’er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway
A hundred fold, who, having learn'd thy way,
ON HIS BLINDNESS.
When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he, returning, chide ;
I fondly ask : but patience, to prevent
Either man's work, or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best: his state Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest ;
TO MR. LAWRENCE.
Lawrence, of virtuous father virtuous son,
Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire, Where shall we sometimes meet, and, by the fire,
The virtuous son was author of a work “ Of our Communion with Angels," printed in 1646. The father was member for Herefordshire, in the Little Parliament which began in 1053, and was active in settling the protectorate of Cromwell.
Help waste a sullen day, what may be won
On smoother, till Favonius re-inspire
The lily and rose, that neither sow'd nor spun.
Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise
To hear the lute well touch'd, or artful voice Warble immortal notes, and Tuscan air ?
He, who of those delights can judge, and spare To interpose them oft, is not unwise.
TO CYRIACK SKINNER.* CYRIACK, whose grandsire, on the royal bench
Of British Themis, with no mean applause, Pronounced, and in his volumes taught, our laws,
Which others, at their bar, so often wrench; To-day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench
In mirth, that after no repenting draws;
Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause,
Toward solid good what leads the nearest way;
For other things, mild Heaven a time ordains, And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
That with superfluous burden loads the day, And when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.
TO THE SAME.
CYRIACK, this three-years-day, these eyes, though
To outward view, of blemish or of spot, [clear, Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot,
Nor, to their idle orbs, doth sight appear Of sun, or moon, or star, throughout the year,
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 conscience, friend, to have lost them, overplied,
Cyriack Skinner was one of the principal members of Ilarrington's political club. Wood says that he was " an ingenious young gentleman, and scholar to John Milton; which Skinner sometimes held the chair."-Ath. Oxon. ii. 591.