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SO N N E T S.

I.

To the Nightingale.
O NIGHTINGALE, that on yon bloomy spray

Warblest at eve, when all the woods are still;'
Thou with fresh hopes the lover's heart dost fill,

While the jolly hours lead on propitious May.
The liquid notes that close the eye of day,

First heard before the shallow cuckoo's bill,
Portend success in love; 0, if Jove's will

Have link'd that amorous pow'r to thy soft lay,
Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate

Foretell my hopeless doom in some grove nigh

As thou from year to year hast sung too late
For my relief, yet hadst no reason why:

Whether the Muse, or Love, call thee his mate,
Both them I serve, and of their train am I.

II.

On his being arrived to the Age of Twenty-three. HOW soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,

Stol'n on his wing my three and twentieth year!
My hasting days fly on with full career,

But my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th.
Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth,

That I to manhood am arriv'd so near ;
And inward ripeness doth much less appear,

That some more timely-happy spirits endu'th.
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,
Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Heaven;

All is, if I have grace to use it so,
As ever in my great Task-master's eye.

III.

When the Assault was intended to the City. CAPTAIN, or Colonel, or Knight in arms,

Whose chance on these defenceless doors may seize, If deed of honour did thee ever please,

Guard them, and 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 and seas,

Whatever clime the sun's bright circle warms.
Lift not thy spear against the Muses' bower:

The great Emathian conqueror bid spare
The house of Pindarus, when temple and tower

Went to the ground : and the repeated air

Of sad Electra's poet had the power
To save the Athenian walls from ruin bare.

IV.

To a virtuous Young Lady.
LADY, that in the prime of earliest youth

Wisely hast shunn'd the broad way and the green,
And with those few art eminently seen,

That labour up the hill with heav'nly truth,
The better part with Mary and with Ruth

Chosen thou hast; and they that overween, Apd at thy growing virtues fret their spleen, No 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, wh the bridegroom with his feastful friends

Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night,
Hast gaiu'd thy entrance, virgin wise and pure.

V.

To the Lady Margaret Ley.
DAUGHTER to that good Earl, once President

Of England's Council and her Treasury,
Who liv'd in both, unstain’d with gold or fee,

And left them both, more in himself content,
Till sad the breaking of that parliament

Broke him, as that dishonest victory
At Chaeronea, fatal to liberty,
Kill?d with report that old man eloquent.
Though later born than to have known the days,

Wherein your father flourish'd, yet by you,

Madam, methinks, I see him living yet;
So well your 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.
A BOOK was writ of late, call'd Tetrachordon,

And woven close, both matter, form, and style;
The subject new: it walk'd the town a while,

Numb’ring good intellects ; now seldom por'd on.
Cries the stall-reader, 'Bless us! what a word on

A title-page is this!' And some in file
Stand spelling false, while one might walk to Mile-

End Green. Why is it harder, sirs, than Gordon,
Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp?

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, Greek.

VII.

On the same.
I DID but prompt the age to quit their clogs

By the known rules of ancient liberty,
When straight a barbarous noise environs me
Of owl and cuckoos, asses, apes, and dogs:
As when those hinds that were transform’d to frogs

Rail'd at Latona's twin-born progeny,
Which after held the sun and moon in fee.

But this is got by casting pearl to hogs;
That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood,

And still revolt when truth would set them free.

Licence they mean when they cry liberty;
For who loves that, must first be wise and good;

But from that mark how far they rove we see,
For all this waste of wealth, and loss of blood.

VIII.

To Mr. H. Lawes, on the publishing his Airs.
HARRY, whose tuneful and well-measur’d song

First taught our English music how to span
Words with just note and accent, not to scan

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 couldst humour best our tongue. Thou honour'st verse, and verse must lend her wing

To honour thee, the priest of Phoebus' quire,

That tun'st 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
Met in the milder shades of purgatory.

IX.

On the religious Memory of Mrs. Catherine 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

Of death, call'd life; which us from life doth sever. Thy works, and alms, and all thy good endeavour,

Štaid not behind, nor in the grave were trod;
But, as faith pointed with her golden rod,

Follow'd thee up to joy and bliss 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 s0° drest,

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.

X.
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-winge.
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

of public fraud. In vain doth valour bleed,
While avarice and rapine share the land.

XI.

To the Lord General Cromwell. CROMWELL, our chief of men, who through a cloud

Not of war only, but detractions rude,
Guided by faith and matchless fortitude,

To peace and 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 imbued,

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
Threat'ning to bind our souls with secular chains :

Help us to save free conscience from the paw
Of hireling wolves, whose Gospel is their maw.

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XII.

To Sir Henry Vane, the Younger,
VANE, young in 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;
Whether to settle peace, or to unfold

The drift of hollow states hard to be spellid;
Then to advise how war may, best upheld,

Move by her two main nerves, iron and gold,
In all her equipage: besides to know

Both spiritual pow'r and civil, what each means,

What severs each, thou hast learn’d, which few have done: The nds of either sword to thee we owe:

Therefore on thy firm hand Religion leans
In peace, and reckons thee her eldest son.

XIII.

On the late Massacre in Piemont.
AVENGE, O Lord, thy slaughter'd saints, whose bone

Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains cold ;
Ev'n them who kept thy truth so pure of old,

When all our fathers worshipt stocks and stones, Forget not: in thy book record their groans

Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold
Slain by the bloody Piemontese that rollid

Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans The vales redoubled to the hills, and they

To heav'n. Their martyr'd blood and ashes sow

O’er all th' Italian fields, where still doth sway
The triple tyrant; that from these may grow

A hundred fold, who having learn’d thy way,
Early may fly the Babylonian woe.

XIV.

On his Blindness. x Х WHEN I consider how my light is spent

Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide,
Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present

My true account, lest he, returning, chide;
‘Doth God exact day-labour, light denied ??
I fondly ask: but Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, "God doth not need

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;
They also serve who only stand and wait.'

XV.

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

Help waste a sullen day, what may be won
From the hard season gaining? Time will run

On smoother, till Favonius re-inspire
The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire
The lily and rose, that neither sow'd nor spun,
What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,

Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we my rise
To hear the lute well touch'd, or artful voice
Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air?

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