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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.
XII. ON THE SAME.
I DID but prompt the age to quit their clogs
When straight a barbarous noise environs me Of owls 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. License 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.
XIII. 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; thou shalt be writ the man,
To after age
That with smooth air couldst humour best our
Thou honour'st verse, and verse must lend her wing
XIV. ON THE RELIGIOUS MEMORY OF MRS. CATHARINE THOMSON, MY CHRISTIAN FRIEND, DECEASED 16TH DEC. 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,
5 exempts] Hor. Od. i. i. 32, Secernunt populo.'
1 writ] Hor. Od. i. vi. 1, ' Scriberis Vario fortis,' &c.
9 honour'st] So Browne's Brit. Past. B. ii, s. 11, of Lord Brooke,
Time shall see
Thee honor'd by thy verse, and it by thee. Todd.
Stay'd 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 handmaids, clad them o'er with purple beams And azure wings, that up they flew so 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.
XV. TO THE LORD GENERAL FAIRFAX.*
FAIRFAX, whose name in arms through Europe
Filling each mouth with envy or with praise,
And rumours loud, that daunt remotest kings, Thy firm unshaken virtue ever brings
Victory home, though new rebellions raise
14 drink] Epitaph. Damonis. 206. tices.' Warton.
6 Stay'd] Orig. Line in MS.
Straight follow'd thee the path that saints have trod.'
Æthereos haurit la
*This Sonnet, as appears from Milton's MS. was addressed to Fairfax at the siege of Colchester, 1648. It was first printed, together with the two following sonnets, and the two to Cyriack Skinner, at the end of Phillips's Life of Milton, 1694. Warton.
2 Filling] So the MS: before, it was And fills each mouth.' Todd.
virtue] So the MS: before, valour.' In the next line though' is admitted from the MS. instead of while.' Todd.
Their Hydra heads, and the false North displays Her broken league to imp their serpent wings. 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.
XVI. 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
8 their] So the MS.: before her.' Todd.
10 This and the following lines were thus in the printed copies :
For what can war, but acts of war still breed,
And public faith be rescued from the brand. Newton. *See Hollis's Memoirs, p. 511.
1 who, &c.] In the printed copy thus:
But a x. 809.
that through a crowd Not of war only, but distractions rude.
'cloud of war' is a classical expression. Virg. Æn. 'Nubem belli.' Newton.
5 This and the following line were contracted in the printed copies of Phillips, Toland, Tonson, Tickell, and Fenton, into And fought God's battles, and his works pursued.'
Hast rear'dGod's trophies, and his work pursued, While Darwen stream with blood of Scots imbrued,
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 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.
XVII. TO SIR HENRY VANE THE YOUNGER.*
VANE, young in years, but in sage counsel old,
Than whom a better senator ne'er held
7 Darwen] In the printed copies Darwent.' Newton. 9 And Worcester's laureat wreath.] This expression, though beautiful, is inaccurate; for a 'laureat wreath' cannot, with propriety, be said to resound his praises loud;' but the inaccuracy arose from the alteration. The hemistich originally stood, And twenty battles more,' which was flat enough.
peace, &c.] In the printed copies, before Newton's edition, peace has her victories, no less than those of war;' and afterwards, in secular chains.' Todd. Compare Milton's Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 442; and Cas. Sarb. Carm. p. 323, ed. Barbou.
*This Sonnet seems to have been written in behalf of the Independants against the Presbyterian hierarchy. Vane was beheaded in 1662. Warton.
I counsel] The printed copies, councils.' Newton.