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To the first edition of the author's poems printed in 1645 was prefixed the following advertisement of
The STATIONER to the READER.
IT is not any private refpect of gain, gentle Reader, for the flighteft pamphlet is now adays more vendible than the works of learnedeft men; but it is the love I have to our own language, that hath made me diligent to collect and fet forth fuch pieces both in profe and verfe, as may renew the wonted honor and efteem of our English tongue: and it's the worth of thefe both English and Latin poems, not the florifh of any prefixed encomiums that can invite thee to buy them, though these are not without the highest commendations and applaufe of the learnedeft Academics, both domeftic and foreign; and amongst thofe of our own country, the unparallel'd atteftation of that renowned Provoft of Eton, Sir Henry Wotton. I know not thy palate how it relishes such dainties, nor how harmonious thy foul is; perhaps more trivial airs may please thee better. But how foever thy opinion is fpent upon thefe, that encouragement I have already received from the moft ingenious men in their clear and courteous entertainment of Mr. Waller's late choice pieces, hath once more made me adventure into the world, prefenting it with thefe ever-green, and not to be blafted laurels. The Author's more peculiar excellency in these studies was too well known to conceal his papers, or to keep me from attempting to VOL. II.
folicit them from him. Let the event guide itself which way it will, hall deferve of the age, by I bringing into the light as true a birth, as the Mufes have brought forth fince our famous Spenfer wrote whofe poems in thefe English ones are as rarely imitated, as fweetly excell'd. Reader, if thou art eagle-ey'd to cenfure their worth, I am not fearful to expofe them to thy exacteft perufal.
POEMS on Several OCCASIONS.
ANNO ÆTATIS 17.
On the death of a fair Infant, dying of a cough.
Faireft flow'r no fooner blown but blasted, Soft filken primrose fading timelefly, Summer's chief honor, if thou hadft out-lafted Bleak Winter's force that made thy bloffom dry; For he being amorous on that lovely dye
That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss, But kill'd, alas, and then bewail'd his fatal blifs.
thought to kifs,
This elegy was not inferted in confequently a daughter of his the first edition of the author's fifter Philips, and probably her first poems printed in 1645, but was added in the fecond edition printed in 1673. It was compos'd in the year 1625, that being the 17th year of Milton's age. In fome editions the title runs thus, On the death of a fair Infant, a nephew of bis, dying of a cough: but the fequel fhows plainly that the child was not a nephew, but a niece, and
But kill'd, alas, &c] Copied probably from this verse in Shakefpear's Venus and Adonis,
He thought to kifs him, and hath kill'd him fo.
For fince grim Aquilo his charioteer
Of long-uncoupled bed, and childlefs eld, [held. Which 'mongst the wanton Gods a foul reproach, was
So mounting up in icy-pearled car,
Through middle empire of the freezing air 1 14 13 10 He wander'd long, till thee he fpy'd from far;:0 There ended was his queft, there ceas'd his care, Down he defcended from his fnow-foft chair, blue But all unwares with his cold-kind embrace 20 Unhous'd thy virgin foul from her fair biding places
Richard. 12. th' infamous blot Of long-uncoupled bed, and child
8. For fince grim Aquilo &c] Bo- lib. 3.) that is, fhe was drown'd in reas or Aquilo carried off by force a high wind croffing that rive Orithyia daughter of Erectheus king of Athens. Ovid. Met. VI. Fab. Milton hath invented this 9: fine fable of Winter's rape upon his fifter's daughter, on the fame grounds as that of Boreas on the daughter of Erectheus, whom he ravifh'd as the cross'd over the river Ilyffus (as Apollodorus fays
lefs eld, &c] The author probably pronounced infamous with the middle fyllable long as it is in Latin. Eld is old age, a word used in innumerable places of Spenfer and our old writers. And in fay