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The better part with Mary' and with Ruth?

Chosen thou hast; and they that overween,
And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen,

No anger find in thee, but pity and ruth.
Thy care is fix'd, and zealously attends

To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light:

And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be sure
Thou, when the bridegroom with his feastful friends

Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night,
Hast gain'd thy entrance, Virgin wise and pure.

TO THE LADY MARGARET LEY.5

1643.

DAUGHTER to that good Earl, once President

Of England's Council, and her Treasury,
Who lived in both, unstain’d with gold or fee,

And left them both, more in himself content,
Till sad the breaking of that Parliament

Broke him, as that dishonest victory
At Chæronea, fatal to liberty,

Kill’d with report that old man eloquent.?
Though later born than to have known the days

Wherein your father flourish'd, yet by you,

Madam, methinks I see him living yet;
So well your words his noble virtues praise,

That all both judge you to relate them true,
And to possess them, honour'd Margaret.

produced so many great and illustrious men."--PLUTARCH, Life of Lysander."

Athens was spared, but in cruel mockery. The Spartan collected all the

PS

VOZ

and burned the Athenian ships,to the sound of their in. strumente. 1 Lúke x. 42. 3 Ruth i. 14. 3 Matt. xxv, 4.

Rom. v. 5,

6 Milton used frequently to visit this lady, who married Captain Hobson, of the Isle of Wight.

* Earl of Marlborough, Lord High Treasurer; and Lord Prosident of the Council to King James 1.- Parliament was dissolved the 10th of March, 1628–9; he died on the 14th, but at an advanced age. NEWTON,

Isocrates, the orator, who could not survive the ruin of his country. Cha, ronea was gained by Philip of Macedon,

XI.

ON THE DETRACTION WHICH FOLLOWED UPON MY

WRITING CERTAIN TREATISÉS.

1645.

A BOOK was writ of late call’d Tetrachordon,'

And woven close, both matter, form, and style;
The subject new: it walk'd the town a while,

Numb’ring good intellects; now seldom pored on.
Cries the stall-reader, Bless us ! what a word on

A title-page is this ! and some in file
Stand spelling false, while one might walk to Mile

End Green. Why is it harder, Sirs, than Gordon,
Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp ? ?

Those rugged names to our like mouths grow sleek,

That would have made Quintilian stare and gasp.
Thy age, like ours, 0 Soul of Sir John Cheke, 3

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

By the known rules of ancient liberty,
When straight a barbarous noise environs me
Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes,

and dogs :*

on

I Tetrachordon means exposition on the four chief places in Scripture which mention nullities in marriage.

Scottish writer against the Indepen. dents; for whom see Milton's verses

the “ Forcers of Conscience." WARTON.

3 Colkitto and Macdonnel are one and the same person, a brave officer on the royal side, an Irishman of the Antrim family, who served under Montrose. The Macdonnels of that family are styled, by way of distinction, Mac Collcittok, i.e., descendants of lame, Colin. Galaspis George Gillespie, a

3 Sir John Cheke has been already named in the notes to this volume. He was the first Professor of Greek át Cambridge, and restored the original pronunciation of it. He was tutor to Edward VI. 4 Milton's treatises were on the subjeet Midas, a King of Phrygia. He decided that Pan was superior

As when those hinds that were transform'd to frogg1

Raily 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.

Licence 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. LAWESS ON THE PUBLISHING HIS AIRS.

HARRY, whose tuneful and well measured 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;5
Thy worth and skill exempts thee from the throng,

With praise enough for envy to look wan;
To after age thou shalt be writ the man,

That with smooth air couldst. humour best our tongue.
Thou honour'st verse, and verse must lend her wing

To honour thee, the priest of Phoebus' quire,

That tun'st their happiest lines in hymn, or story."
Dante shall give fame leave to set thee higher

Than his Casella, whom he woo'd to sing
Met in the milder shades of Purgatory.

of “Divorce.". The Presbyterian clergy were much (and justly) scandalized at them, and brought Milton before the Lords for them; but they thought the subject simply speculative, and he was discharged. He thus stigmatizes the Presbyterian clergy.

1 See OVID, Met. VI, fab. iv. "Latona's progeny” were Apollo and the sun god and moon goddess.: lana,

? A fine moral, coming, too, from a Republican poet.

The musician who put the music to Comus.”

was superior in singing

and playing on the flute to Apollo; and, to pitish his stupidity, Apollo changed his ears into those of an ass.

5 A Latinism, meaning offences against quantity.-RICHARDSON.

6 The “Story of Ariadne," set by Lawes.-WARTON.

7 Amongst the souls in Purgatory, Dante recognizes his friend Casella, the musician. In the course of an affectionate conversation, Dante asks for a song to soothe him, and Casella sings, with ravishing sweetness, the poet's second Canzone. See second cant. of Dante's “ Purgatorio."

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XIV.

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ON THE RELIGIOUS MEMORY OF MRS. CATHERINE

THOMSON,
MY CHRISTIAN FRIEND, DECEASED 16TI 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,

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.2

1648.
FAIRFAX, whose name in arms through Europe rings,

Filling each mouth with envy or with praise,
And all her jealous monarchs with amaze

And rumours loud, that daunt remotest kings,
Thy firm unshaken virtue ever brings

Victory home, though new rebellions raise
Their Hydra heads, and the false North displays
Her broken leagues to imp their serpent wings.

Vhen Milton was first made Latin
retary to Cromwell, he lodged at a Mr.
mson's, next to the “Bull Head”
ern, Charing Cross. Mrs. Thomson
ipposed to have been the wife of his
Lord.-NEWTON.
Addressed to Fairfax at the siege of
hester, It was first printed, to-

gether with the two following sonnets,
and the two to Cyriack Skinner, at the
end of Phillips's " Life of Milton,” 1694.
-WARTON.

3 The English Parliament held that the Scotch had broken their covenant by marching into England, led by Hamilton,

O yet a nobler task awaits thy hand,

(For what can var, 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 rapite share the land.

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TO THE LORD GENERAL CROMWELL.

1652.
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 ? 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 : 3

Help us to save free conscience from the páw
Of hireling wolves, whose gospel is their maw.

1 A small river near Preston, in Lancashire, where Cromwell defeated the Scots under the Duke of Hamilton in August, 1648.

2 Dunbar and Worcester were both

fought September 3-one 1650, the oth 1651.

3 He alludes to the Presbyterian cler They tried to persuade Cromwell to the secular power against Sectaries.

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