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And inward ripeness doth much less appear,
That some more timely-happy spirits endueth. Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,
It shall be still, in strictest measure, even
To that same lot, however mean or high,
All is, if I have grace to use it so
WHEN THE ASSAULT WAS INTENDED TO THE CITY. "
seize, If deed of honour did thee ever please,
Guard them, & him within protect from harms. He can requite thee, for he knows the charms
That call fame on such gentle acts as these, And he can spread thy name o'er lands & seas,
Whatever clime the sun's bright circle warms. Lift not thy spear against the Muses' bower :
The great Emathian conqueror bid spare
Of sad Electra's poet had the power
TO A VIRTUOUS YOUNG LADY.
Wisely hast shunnid the broad way & the green,
That labour up the hill of heavenly truth;
Chosen thou hast ; and they that overween,
anger find in thee, but pity and ruth. Thy care is fix'd, and zealously attends
To fill thy odorous lamp, with deeds of light,
And hope, that reaps not shame. Therefore be sure, Thou, when the bridegroom, with his feastful friends,
Passes to bliss, at the mid hour of night,
* In 1642; the King's army having arrived at Brentford.
TO THE LADY MARGARET LEY.*
Of England's council, and her treasury,
And left them both, more in himself content,
Broke him, as that dishonest victory,
Kill’d, with report, that old man eloquent. +
Wherein your father flourish'd, yet by you,
Madam, methinks I see him living yet ; So well
words his noble virtues praise, That all both judge you to relate them true, And to possess them, honour'd Margaret.
ON THE DETRACTION WHICH FOLLOWED UPON MY
WRITING CERTAIN TREATISES. 1645.
A BOOK was writ, of late, call’d Tetrachordon, #
And woven close, both matter, form, & style; The subject new : it walk'd the town awhile, Numbering good intellects; now seldom pored on. Cries the stall-reader, « Bless us! what a word on
A title page is this !" and some, in file,
End Green. Why, is it harder, sirs, than Gordon, Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp?$
• The daughter of Sir James Ley, whose singular learning and abilities raised him through all the great posts of the law, till he came to be made Earl of Marlborough, and Lord High Treasurer, and Lord President of the Council to King James I. He died in an advanced age ; and Milton attributes
his death to the breaking of the Parliament: and it is true that the Parliament was dissolved the 10th of March 1628-9, and he died on the 14th of the same month.--Newton.
+ Isocrates, the orator. The victory was gained by Philip of Macedon over the Athenians. Warton.
1 This was one of Milton's books published in consequence of his divorce from his first wife. Tetrachordon signifies Expositions on the four chief places in Scripture which mention marriage or nullities in marriage.- Warton.
§ Milton is here collecting, from his hatred to the Scots, what he thinks Scottish nanies of an ill sound. Colkitto and Macdonnel, are one and the same person ; a brave officer on the royal side, an Irishman of the Antrim family, who served un
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 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 he 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 str ms.
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 home, 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 plough’d, And on the neck of crowned fortune proud,
Hast rear'd God's trophies, and his work pursued; While Darwen stream, with blood of Scots imbrued,
And Dunbar field resounds thy praises loud, And Worcester's laureat wreath. Yet much remains
To conquer still ; peace hath her victories
No less renown'd than war: new foes arise, Threatening to bind our souls with secular chains : Help us to save free conscience from the
paw Of hireling wolves, whose gospel is their maw.
TO SIR HENRY VANE THE YOUNGER.* VANE, young
years, but in sage counsel old, Than whom a better senator ne'er held The helm of Rome, when gowns, not arms, repellid
The fierce Epirot, and the African bold,
The drift of hollow states, hard to be spellid ;
iron and gold, In all her equipage: besides, to know
Both spiritual power & civil, what each means,
What severs each, thou hast learn’d, which few have The bounds of either sword to thee we owe : [done.
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.