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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,
That with superfluous burden loads the day,
Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave,
Rescu'd from death by force though pale and faint.
Purification in the old Law did save,
Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,
Her face was vail'd, yet to my fancied sight,
Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd
But O as to embrace me she enclin'd
On the new forcers of Conscience under the
And with stiff Vowes renounc'd his Liturgie
From them whose sin ye envi’d, not abhor'd,
To force our Consciences that Christ set free,
Would have been held in high esteem with Paul
Must now be nam'd and printed Hereticks
Your plots and packing wors then those of Trent,
That so the Parliament
And succour our just Fears
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,
Victory home, though new rebellions raise
Her brok’n league, to impe their serpent wings,
For what can Warr, but endless warr still breed,
Till Truth, & Right from Violence be freed,
Of Public Fraud. In vain doth Valour bleed
To the Lord Generall Cromwell May 1652.
On the proposalls of certaine ministers at the Committee for Propagation of
Cromwell, our cheif of men, who through a cloud
Not of warr onely, but detractions rude,
To peace & truth thy glorious way hast plough'd,
Hast reard Gods Trophies, & his work pursu'd,
And Dunbarr feild resounds thy praises loud,
To conquer still; peace hath her victories
No less renownd then warr, new foes aries
Helpe us to save free Conscience from the paw
To Sr Henry Vane the younger. .
Then whome a better Senatour nere held
The drift of hollow states, hard to be spelld,
Move by her two maine nerves, Iron & Gold
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
To Mr. Cyriack Skinner upon his Blindness.
Nor to thir idle orbs doth sight appear
Or man or woman. Yet I argue not
The conscience, Friend, to have lost them overply'd 10
In libertyes defence, my noble task,
This thought might lead me through the world's vain mask
PSAL. I. Done into Verse, 1653.
BLESS'D is the man who hath not walk'd astray
PSAL. II. Done Aug. 8. 1653. Terzetti.
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
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.
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.
How many those
Many are they