Imatges de pÓgina

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

Toward solid good what leads the nearest way;

For other things mild Heav'n 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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Methought I saw my late espoused Saint

Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave,
Whom Joves great Son to her glad Husband gave,

Rescu'd from death by force though pale and faint.
Mine as whom washt 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 :

Her face was vail'd, yet to my fancied sight,

Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd
So clear, as in no face with more delight.

But O as to embrace me she enclin'd
I wak’d, she fled, and day brought back my night.


On the new forcers of Conscience under the

Because you have thrown of your Prelate Lord,

And with stiff Vowes renounc'd his Liturgie
To seise the widdow'd whore Pluralitie

From them whose sin ye envi’d, not abhor'd,
Dare ye for this adjure the Civill Sword

To force our Consciences that Christ set free,
And ride us with a classic Hierarchy
Taught ye by meer A. S. and Rotherford?
Men whose Life, Learning, Faith and pure intent

Would have been held in high esteem with Paul

Must now be nam'd and printed Hereticks
By shallow Edwards and Scotch what d'ye call :
But we do hope to find out all your tricks,


Your plots and packing wors then those of Trent,

That so the Parliament
May with their wholsom and preventive Shears
Clip your Phylacteries, though bauk your Ears,

And succour our just Fears
When they shall read this clearly in your charge!
New Presbyter is but Old Priest writ Large.


The four following sonnets were not published until 1694, and then in a mangled form by Phillips, in his Life of Milton; they are here printed from the Cambridge MS., where that to Fairfax is in Milton's autograph.

On the Lord Gen. Fairfax at the seige of


Fairfax, whose name in armes through Europe rings

Filling each mouth with envy, or with praise,
And all her jealous monarchs with amaze,
And rumors loud, that daunt remotest kings,
Thy firm unshak’n vertue ever brings

Victory home, though new rebellions raise
Thir Hydra heads, & the fals North displaies

Her brok’n league, to impe their serpent wings,
O yet a nobler task awaites thy hand;

For what can Warr, but endless warr still breed,

Till Truth, & Right from Violence be freed,
And Public Faith cleard from the shamefull brand

Of Public Fraud. In vain doth Valour bleed
While Avarice, & Rapine share the land.

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To the Lord Generall Cromwell May 1652.

On the proposalls of certaine ministers at the Committee for Propagation of

the Gospell.

Cromwell, our cheif of men, who through a cloud

Not of warr onely, but detractions rude,
Guided by faith & matchless Fortitude

To peace & truth thy glorious way hast plough'd,
And on the neck of crowned Fortune proud

Hast reard Gods Trophies, & his work pursu'd,
While Darwen stream with blood of Scotts imbru'd,

And Dunbarr feild resounds thy praises loud,
And Worsters laureat wreath; yet much remaines

To conquer still; peace hath her victories

No less renownd then warr, new foes aries
Threatning to bind our soules with secular chaines :

Helpe us to save free Conscience from the paw
Of hireling wolves whose Gospell is their maw.


To Sr Henry Vane the younger. .
Vane, young in yeares, but in sage counsell old,

Then whome a better Senatour nere held
The helme of Rome, when gownes not armes repelld
The feirce Epeirot & the African bold,
Whether to settle peace, or to unfold

The drift of hollow states, hard to be spelld,
Then to advise how warr may best, upheld,

Move by her two maine nerves, Iron & Gold
In all her equipage; besides to know

Both spirituall powre & civill, what each meanes

What severs each thou 'hast learnt, which few have don. The bounds of either sword to thee wee ow.

Therfore on thy firme hand religion leanes
In peace, & reck'ns thee her eldest son.


To Mr. Cyriack Skinner upon his Blindness.
Cyriack, this three years day these eys, though clear
To outward view, of blemish or of spot;
Bereft of light thir seeing have forgot,

Nor to thir idle orbs doth sight appear
Of Sun or Moon or Starre throughout the year,

Or man or woman. Yet I argue not
Against heavns hand or will, nor bate a jot
Of heart or hope; but still bear vp and steer
Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask?

The conscience, Friend, to have lost them overply'd 10

In libertyes defence, my noble task,
Of which all Europe talks from side to side.

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

PSAL. I. Done into Verse, 1653.

BLESS'D is the man who hath not walk'd astray
In counsel of the wicked, and ith'way
Of sinners hath not stood, and in the seat
Of scorners hath not sate. But in the great
Jehovahs Law is ever his delight,
And in his Law he studies day and night.
He shall be as a tree which planted grows
By watry streams, and in his season knows
To yield his fruit, and his leaf shall not fall,
And what he takes in hand shall prosper all.
Not so the wicked, but as chaff which fann'd
The wind drives, so the wicked shall not stand
In judgment, or abide their tryal then,
Nor sinners in th'assembly of just men.
For the Lord knows th’upright way of the just,
And the way of bad men to ruine must.


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PSAL. II. Done Aug. 8. 1653. Terzetti.
Why do the Gentiles tumult, and the Nations

Muse a vain thing, the Kings of th'earth upstand

With power, and Princes in their Congregations Lay deep their plots together through each Land,

Against the Lord and his Messiah dear.

Let us break off, say they, by strength of hand Their bonds, and cast from us, no more to wear,

Their twisted cords: he who in Heaven doth dwell

Shall laugh, the Lord shall scoff them, then severe Speak to them in his wrath, and in his fell

And fierce ire trouble them ; but I saith hee

Anointed have my King (though ye rebell) On Sion my holi' hill. A firm decree

I will declare; the Lord to me hath say'd

Thou art my Son I have begotten thee
This day; ask of me, and the grant is made;

As thy possession I on thee bestow

Th'Heathen, and as thy conquest to be sway'd Earths utmost bounds : them shalt thou bring full low

With Iron Scepter bruis’d, and them disperse

Like to a potters vessel shiver'd so.
And now be wise at length ye Kings averse

Be taught ye Judges of the earth; with fear

Jehovah serve, and let your joy converse With trembling; kiss the Son least he appear

In anger and ye perish in the way

If once his wrath take fire like fuel sere. Happy all those who have in him their stay.


PSAL. III. Aug. 9. 1053.
When he fled from Absalom.
LORD how many are my foes

How many those
That in arms against me rise

Many are they

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