Imatges de pÓgina
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1652

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 5
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 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.

XXI. TO CYRIAC SKINNER.

CYRIAC, whose grandsire on the royal bench
Of British Themis, with no mean applause
Pronounc'd and in his volumes taught our laws,
Which others at their bar so often wrench;
To day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench 5
In mirth, that after no repenting draws;
Let Euclid rest and Archimedes pause,

* Lawrence published a work called Of our Communion and Warre with Angels,' &c. 1646. 4to. Todd. See British Bibliographer, vol. i. p. 352.

7 Euclid] See Censura Literaria, vi. p. 144.

And what the Swede intends, and what the French. To measure life learn thou betimes, and know 9 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.

XXII. TO THE SAME.

CYRIAC, this three years day these eyes, tho' 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, 5
Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not

Against Heav'n'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, t' have lost them overIn liberty's defence, my noble task,

[plied

And what the Swede intends] So the MS. The first ed. And what the Swede intend,' which in others is altered to, And what the Swedes intend.' Newton.

11 mild Heaven] So Son. xix. bear his mild yoke.' Par. Reg. ii. 125, these mild seats.' Sil. Italicus, iv. 795, Mite et cognatum est homini deus.'

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More's Poems, p. 196.

3 Bereft, &c.] In the printed copies,

'Bereft of sight their seeing have forgot,
Nor to their idle orbs doth day appear

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6

7a] In the printed copies, ' one.' Newton.

And Hen.

Of which all Europe rings from side to side, 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, tho' pale and faint. Mine, as whom wash'd from spot of child-bed Purification in the old Law did save, [taint

And such, as yet once more I trust to have Full sight of her in Heav'n without restraint, Came, vested all in white, pure as her mind:

Her face was veil'd, yet to my fancied sight 10 Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd So clear, as in no face with more delight.

But O, as to embrace me she inclin'd,

I wak'd, she fled, and day brought back my night.*

12 rings] So the printed copies before Newton's edition, in which 'talks' is substituted from the MS. instead of 'rings.' The Sonnet thus concluded before Newton's ed.

Whereof all Europe rings from side to side.

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

* The original various readings to the sonnets from the Cambridge MS. may be seen in Mr. Todd's edition of Milton's Poet. Works, (1809,) vol. vi. p. 500–3.

PSALMS.

PSALM I. DONE INTO VErse, 1653.

BLESS'D is the man who hath not walk'd astray
In counsel of the wicked, and i' th' way

Of sinners hath not stood, and in the seat
Of scorners hath not sat. But in the great
Jehovah's law is ever his delight,
And in his law he studies day and night.
He shall be as a tree which planted grows
By watery 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 trial 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 ruin must.

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PSALM 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 pow'r, and princes in their congregations Lay deep their plots together through each land Against the Lord and his Messiah dear?

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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 heav'n 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 he, Anointed have my King (though ye rebel) On Sion my holy' hill. A firm decree

I will declare; the Lord to me hath said 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

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

With iron sceptre bruised, and them disperse
Like to a potter's 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 lest 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 them their stay.

18 Heathen] Warton in both editions reads 'The Hea ven.' Todd.

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