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XVII.

TO SIR HENRY VANE THE YOUNGER.'

1652.
VANE, young in years, but in sage counsel old,

Than whom a better senator ne'er held
The helm of Rome, when gowns not arms repellid

The fierce Epirot and the African bold,
Whether to settle peace, or to unfold

The drift of hollow states a hard to be spell’d,
Then to advise how war may, best upheld,

Move by her two main nerves, iron and gold
In all her equipage: besides to know

Both spiritual pow'r and civil, what each means,

What severs each, thou hast learn'd, which few have The bounds of either sword to thee we owe: [done :

Therefore on thy firm hand Religion leans
In peace, and reckons thee her eldest son.

XVIII.

ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEDMONT.3

AVENGE, O Lord, thy slaughter'd saints, whose bones

Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains cold ;
Ev’n them who kept thy truth so pure of old,
When all our fathers worshipp'd stocks and stones,

هه له

This sonnet seems to have been rritten in behalf of the Independents gainst the Presbyterian hierarchy, 'ane was the chief of the Independents, nd therefore Milton's friend. He was a nost eccentric character, a mixture of he wildest fanaticism and good sense. le was beheaded after the Restoration, 662,- From WARTON. 2 The States of Holland, 3 In 1665 the Duke of Savoy de. ermined to make his reformed sub.

jects in Piedmont return to the Roman Church. All who refused compliance with the sovereign's will were massacred. Those who escaped, concealed in their mountain fastnesses, sent to Cromwell for relief. Milton's Troly indignation found expression in this fine sonnet, which was of great effect. Cromwell commanded a general fast, and a national contribution for the relief of the sufferers. £40,000 were colleoted, He then wrote to the Duko; And Ag

Forget not: in thy book record their groans
Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold
Slain by the bloody Piedmontese that rollid

Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans The vales redoubled to the hills, and they

To Heav'n. Their martvr'd blood and ashes sow

O’er all th’ Italian fields, where still doth sway
The triple tyrant;' that from these may, grow

A hundred fold, who having learn'd thy way
Early may fly the Babylonian woe.:

XIX.

ON HIS BLINDNESS.

When I consider how my light is spent

Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide,

Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present

My true account, lest he returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied P"

I fondly ask: But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need

Either man's work, or his own gifts; who best

Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best: his state Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,

And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait."

great was the terror of the English nalile- the Protector threatened that his ships should visit Civita Vecchia-that be persecution was stopped, and the surviving inhabitants of the valleys

were restored to their homes and to
freedom of worship,

| The Pope.
» The Papacy.

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

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 3 on the royal bench

Of British Themis, with no mean applause
Pronounced and in his volumes taught our laws,

Which others at their bar so often wrench;
To-day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench

In mirth, that after po repenting draws;
Let Euclid rest and Archimedes pause,
And what the Swede 4 intends, and what the French.

Son of Henry Lawrence, Member for tfordshire, who was active in settling

Protectorate on Cromwell. Milton's nd was the author of a work called f our Communion and Warre with els," &c., 1646. 4to.-TODD. The West Wind. Lord Coke. Cyriac Skinner was the of William Skinner and Bridget,

daughter of Lord Coke. He had been a pupil of Milton's, and was one of the principal members of Harrington's Political Club.

4 Charles Gustavus, King of Sweden, was then at war with Poland, and the French were fighting the Spaniards in the Netherlands.

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.

XXII.

17. Bent u ook

Artisterectomia
TO THE SAME.

Port to or

Debat 9&oqa
CYRIAC, this three years day these eyes, though 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,
Or man, or woman.

Yet I argué 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 overplied

In liberty's defence,' my noble task,
Of which all Europe talks from side to side.

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

! When Milton was engaged to answer Salmasius one of his eyes had nearly lost its sight. The physicians predicted the loss of both, if he used them. But Milton told Du Moulin, "I did not long balance, whether my duty should be preferred to my eyes."

2 The celebrated controversy with Salmasius originated thus : Charles II. employed that great scholar to write a

“Defence of Monarchy," and to vindies his father's memory. Salmasius wast greatest scholar of his age. Grotius aly could compete with him. Selden spes of him as “most admirable." Council of the Commonwealth, the fore, did wisely in ordering Milton answer him. How he did so at the pri of his sight we see above.

XXIII.

ON HIS DECEASED WIFE.

METHOUGHT I saw my late espousèd saint
Brought to me like Alcestis ? from the

grare, Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave,

Rescued from death by force, though pale and faint. Mine, as whom wash'd 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 veil'd, yet to my fancied sight

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

But oh! as to embrace me she inclined, I waked, she fled, and day brought back my night.

Catherine, the daughter of Captain Woodcock, of Hackney. She died in giving birth to a daughter, a year after her marriage. She was Milton's second vife. 3 Alcestis, being told by an oracle that

her husband, Admetus, could never re cover from a disease unless a friend died for him, willingly laid down her life for him.' Hercules, “Jove's great son,” brought her back from hell.

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