Page images

Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galafp?


Thofe rugged names to our like mouths grow fleek, That would have made Quintilian ftare and gasp. Thy age, like ours, O Soul of Sir John Cheek, Hated not learning worse than toad or afp, When thou taught'ft Cambridge, and king Edward



On the fame.

I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
When strait a barbarous noise environs mé
Of owls and cuccoos, affes, apes and dogs;

9. Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galafp?] We may fuppofe that these were perfons of note and eminence amongst the Scotch minifters who were for preffing and enforcing the Covenant. Galafp we know was one of the Scotch minifters and commiffioners from the Kirk to the Parlament. See the verfes on the forcers of confcience.

10. Thofe rugged names] He had written at firft barbarous, and then rough hewn, and then rugged.

12. Sir John Cheek Or Cheke.

He was the first Profeffor of the
Greek tongue in the university of


Cambridge, and was highly inftru-
mental in bringing that language
into repute, and reftoring the ori
ginal pronunciation of it, tho'
with great oppofition from the pa-
trons of ignorance and popery,
and especially from Gardiner, bi-
fhop of Winchefter, and chancel-
lor of the univerfity. He was af-
terwards made one of the tutors
to Edward VI. See his life by
Strype, or in Biographia Britan-

Milton's Manufcript it ftands,
4. Of owls and cuccoos, ] In

Of owls and buzzards

As when thofe hinds that were transform'd to frogs 5

Rail'd at Latona's twin-born progeny,

Which after held the fun and moon in fec. But this is got by cafting pearl to hogs; That bawl for freedom in their fenfelefs mood, And ftill revolt when truth would fet them free. Licence they mean when they cry Liberty ; For who loves that, must first be wife and good; But from that mark how far they rove we fee 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'

5. As when thofe hinds &c] The fable of the Lycian clowns changed into frogs is related by Ovid, Met. VI. Fab. 4. and the poet in saying

Which after held the fun and
moon in fee,

intimates the good hopes which he
had of himself, and his expecta-
tions of making a confiderable fi-
gure in the world.

8. by calling pearl to bogs; ] Mat. VII. 6. neither caft ye your pearl before fine.

10. And fill revolt &c] He had written at first,

[ocr errors]



And hate the truth whereby they
Should 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 Mafk in 1637, the airs of which he fet to mufic, and probably too thofe of his Arcades. He was educated under Signor

[ocr errors]


First taught our English mufic how to fpan

Words with juft note and accent, not to fcand

With Midas ears, committing fhort and long; Thy worth and skill exempts thee from the throng, M With praise enough for envy to look wan;

To after age thou shalt be writ the



That with smooth air could't humour beft our


Thou honor'ft verfe, and verse must lend her wing
To honor thee, the priest of Phoebus quire,

[blocks in formation]



[blocks in formation]

That tun'ft their happiest lines in hymn, or story. Jante fhall give fame leave to fet thee higher Than his Cafella, whom he woo'd to fing Met in the milder shades of purgatory.


* On the religious memory of Mrs. Catharine Thomson, my chriftian friend, deceas'd 16 Decem. 1646.

When faith and love, which parted from thee never, Had ripen'd thy juft foul to dwell with God,

9. and verfe muft 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 muft fend ber wing, as it is in the printed copies.

12. Dante fhall give &c] Thefe verfes were thus at first,

Fame by the Tufcan's leave fhall

fet thee higher Than his Cafelle, whom Dante woo'd to fing &c.

[blocks in formation]

To this fonnet, which was firft 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 firft made Latin fecretary, he lodg to the fecond Canto of Dante's ed at one Thomfon'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


[ocr errors]

Meekly thou didst resign 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 fo dreft,
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 these 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 thefe lines were the following at firft in the Manuscript,

Strait follow'd thee the path that
faints have trod,
Still as they journey'd from this
⚫dark abode

Up to the realm of peace and

joy for ever.

Faith fhow'd the way, and the who
faw them best
Thy hand-maids &c.



12. And pake the truth] There are alfo 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 fpake 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 first 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

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »