Imatges de pÓgina
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XVI.

TO THE LORD GENERAL CROMWELL,

ON THE PROPOSALS OF CERTAIN MINISTERS AT THE
COMMITTEE FOR PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL.

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 imbrued,
And Dunbar field, resounds thy praises loud,
And Worcester's laureate 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.

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XVII.

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, repell'd
The fierce Epirot and the African bold;

Whether to settle peace, or to unfold

The drift of hollow states hard to be spell'd;
Then to advise how war may best upheld

Move by her two main nerves, iron and gold,

In all her equipage; besides, to know

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Both spiritual power and civil, what each means,
What severs each, thou hast learn'd, which few have done.

The bounds of either sword to thee we owe:
Therefore on thy firm hand Religion leans

In peace, and reckons thee her eldest son.

XVIII.

ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEMONT.

AVENGE, O Lord, thy slaughter'd saints, whose bones
Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains cold;
Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old,
When all our fathers worshipp'd 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 roll'd
Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans
The vales redoubled to the hills, and they

To heaven. Their martyr'd blood and ashes sow
O'er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway
The triple Tyrant; that from these may grow
A hundredfold, who, having learnt thy way,
Early may fly the Babylonian woe.

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XIX.

ON HIS BLINDNESS.

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
Lodged 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,

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And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

XX.

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 reinspire

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 may rise
To hear the lute well touch'd, or artful voice
Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air?

He who of those delights can judge, and spare
To interpose them oft, is not unwise.

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ΤΟ

XXI.

TO CYRIACK SKINNER.

CYRIACK, whose grandsire on the royal bench
Of British Themis, with no mean applause,
Pronounced, and in his volumes taught, our laws,
Which others at their bar so often wrench;
To-day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench
In mirth that after no repenting draws;
Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause,

And what the Swede intends, and what the French.
To measure life learn thou betimes, and know

Toward solid good what leads the nearest way;
For other things mild Heaven a time ordains,
And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
That with superfluous burden loads the day,
And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.

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XXII.

TO THE SAME.

CYRIACK, this three years' day these eyes, though clear,
To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot;
Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear
Of sun, or moon, or star, throughout the year,
Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not

Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot
Of heart or hope, but still bear up and steer
Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask?
The conscience, friend, to have lost them overplied
In Liberty's defence, my noble task,

Of which all Europe talks from side to side.

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This thought might lead me through the world's vain mask
Content, though blind, had I no better guide.

XXIII.

ON HIS DECEASED WIFE.

METHOUGHT I saw my late espoused saint

Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave,

Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave, Rescued from Death by force, though pale and faint. Mine, as whom wash'd from spot of child-bed taint Purification in the Old Law did save,

And such as yet once more I trust to have Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint, Came vested all in white, pure as her mind. 1

Her face was veil'd; yet to my fancied sight Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shined So clear as in no face with more delight.

But, oh! as to embrace me she inclined,

I waked, she fled, and day brought back my night.

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TRANSLATIONS.

SCRAPS FROM THE PROSE WRITINGS.

FROM OF REFORMATION TOUCHING CHURCH DISCIPLINE IN ENGLAND,' 1641.

[DANTE, Inferno, XIX. 115.]

AH, Constantine, of how much ill was cause,
Not thy conversion, but those rich domains
That the first wealthy Pope received of thee!

[PETRARCH, Sonnet 107.]

FOUNDED in chaste and humble poverty,

'Gainst them that raised thee dost thou lift thy horn,
Impudent whore? Where hast thou placed thy hope?
In thy adulterers, or thy ill-got wealth?
Another Constantine comes not in haste.

[ARIOSTO, Orl. Fur. xxxiv. Stanz. 80.]

THEN passed he to a flowery mountain green,
Which once smelt sweet, now stinks as odiously:
This was that gift (if you the truth will have)
That Constantine to good Sylvestro gave.

FROM THE APOLOGY FOR SMECTYMNUUS, 1642.

[HORACE, Sat. 1. 1, 24.]

LAUGHING to teach the truth

What hinders? as some teachers give to boys
Junkets and knacks, that they may learn apace.

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