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See, see the chariot, and those rushing wheels,
my soul in holy vision sit,
For sure so well instructed are my tears,
Might think the infection of my sorrows loud Had got a race of mourners, on some pregnant cloud. This subject the Author finding to be above the years
he had, when he wrote it, and nothing satisfied with what was begun, left it unfinished.
UPON THE CIRCUMCISION.
Ye flaming powers, and winged warriors bright
His infancy to seize !
For we, by rightful doom, remediless,
Will pierce more near his heart.
ON THE DEATH OF A FAIR INFANT,
Dying of a Cough.*
O FAIREST flower, no sooner blown but blasted ! Soft silken primrose, fading timelessly, Summer's chief honour, if thou hadst outlasted Bleak Winter's force, that made tlıy blossom 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 bliss. For since grim Aquilo, his charioteer, By boisterous rape the Athenian damsel got, He thought it touch'd his deity full near, If likewise he some fair one wedded not ; Thereby to wipe away the infamous blot
Of long-uncoupled bed, and childless eld, Sheld. Which, 'mongst the wanton gods, a foul reproach was So, mounting up in icy-pearled car, Through middle empire of the freezing air, He wander'd long, till thee he spied from far : There ended was his quest, there ceased his care; Down he descended, from his snow-soft chair,
But, all unwares, with his cold-kind embrace, Unhoused thy virgin soul from her fair biding place. Yet art thou not inglorious in thy fate; For so Apollo, with unweeting hand,
• Written in 1625, and first kas now seventeen.Warton.
Whilom did slay his dearly-loved mate,
But then transform'd him to a purple flower :
Oh no! for something in thy face did shine, Above mortality, that show'd thou was divine. Resolve me then, oh soul most surely bless’d, If so it be that thou these plaints dost hear, Tell me, bright spirit, where'er thou hoverest, Whether above that high first-moving sphere, Or in the Elysian fields, if such there were,
O say me true, if thou wert mortal wight, And why, from us so quickly, thou didst take thy flight. Wert thou some star, which, from the ruin'd roof Of shaked Olimpus, by mischance didst fall; Which careful Jove, in nature's true behoof, Took
up, and in fit place did reinstall ? Or did of late earth's sons besiege the wall
Of sheeny Heaven, & thou some goddess fled Amongst is, here below, to hide thy nectar'd head? Or wert thou that just maid, who, once before, Forsook the hated earth, O tell me sooth, And camest again to visit us once more? Or wert thou that sweet-smiling youth? Or that crown'd matron sage, white-rob’d Truth?
Or any other of that heavenly brood, [good ? Let down in cloudy throne, to do the world some Or wert thou of the golden-winged host, Who, having clad thyself in human weed, To earth, from thy prefixed seat, didst post, And after short abode fly back with speed, As if to show what creatures Heaven doth breed,
Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire, To scorn the sordid world, and unto Heaven aspire ? But oh, why didst thou not stay here below, To bless us with thy heaven-loved innocence, To slake his wrath whom sin hath made our foe,
To turn swift-rushing black perdition hence,
To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart?
This if thou do, he will an offspring give, (to live. That, till the world's last end, shall make thy name
ON TIME.* Fly, envious Time, till thou run out thy race; Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours, Whose speed is but the heavy plummet's pace; And glut thyself with what thy womb devours, Which is no more than what is false and vain, And merely mortal dross ; So little is our loss, So little is thy gain. For when, as each thing bad thou hast entomb’d And last of all thy greedy self consumed, Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss, With an individual kiss; And Joy shall overtake us, as a flood, When every thing that is sincerely good, And perfectly divine, With truth, and peace, and love, shall ever shine, About the supreme throne Of Him, to whose happy-making sight, alone, When once our heavenly-guided soul shall climb, Then all this earthly grossness quit, Attired with stars, we shall for ever sit, [O Time !
Triumphing over Death and Chance, and thee,
AT A SOLEMN MUSIC, Bless'D pair of Syrens, pledges of Heaven's joy, Sphere-born harmonious sisters, Voice and verse, Wed your divine sounds, and mix'd power einploy, Dead things, with inbreathed sense able to pierce; And, to our high-raised phantasy, present That undisturbed song of pure consent,
• In Milton's manuscript, written with his own hand, vol. 8. the title is, “ On Time. To be set on a clock-case."
Aye sung before the sapphire-colour'd throne
MARCHIONESS OF WINCHESTER."
Her high birth, and her graces sweet,
* Jane, daughter of Thomas, Viscount Savage, wife a John, Marquis