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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.

TO THE SAME.

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 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 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 vindien
his father's memory. Salmasius was a
greatest scholar of his age. Grotius al
could compete with him. Selden spe
of him as “most admirable.'
Council of the Commonwealth, the
fore, did wisely in ordering Milton
answer him. How he did so at the pra
of his sight we see above.

XXIII.

ON HIS DECEASED WIFE.'

2

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 wife.

% Alcestis, being told by an oracle that

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

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ON THE NEW FORCERS OF CONSCIENCE UNDER

THE LONG PARLIAMENT.

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1647. BECAUSE

you

have thrown off your prelate lord,
And with stiff vows renounced his liturgy,
To seize the widow'd whore Plurality

From them whose sin ye envied, not abhorr'd,
Dare

ye

for this adjure the civil sword
To force our consciences that Christ set free,
And ride us with a classic hierarchy

Taught ye by mere A. S.? and Rotherford P3
Men whose life, learning, faith, and pure

intent
Would have been held in high esteem with Paul,

Must now be named and printed heretics
By shallow Edwards 4 and Scotch what d'ye call :

But we do hope to find out all your tricks,
Your plots and packing worse than those of Trent,

That so the Parliament
May, with their wholesome and preventive shears,
Clip your phylacteries, though bauk your ears,"

And succour our just fears,
When they shall read this clearly in your charge,
New Presbyter is but Old Priest writ large. 8

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1 In classes, or classical assemblies. The I reshyterians distributed London into twelve classes; each chose two ministers and four lay elders to represent them in a Provincial Assembly.

2 Adam Stuart, a Polemical writer of the times, who answered the “Independents' Plea for Toleration."

3 Samuel Rutherford, one of the Chief Commissioners of the Church of Scotland, and an avowed enemy to the Independents, Milton's sect.

4 Thomas Edwards, who wrote against the Independents,

6 Perhaps George Gillespie, a Sectes writer against the Independents. Miltus hated the Scotch, and ridiculed their names.

6 The Council of Trent.

7 Balk, or bauk, is to spare. The meaning is, “Your errors will be cor. rected, and your ears spared.” Our readers will remember that the Star Chamber had inflicted the cruel punishi ment of loss of ears on Pryone.

8 More tyrannical than of old,

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What slender youth, bedew'd with liquid odours,
Courts thee on roses in some pleasant cave,
Pyrrha ? For whom bind'st thou

In wreaths thy golden hair,
Plain in thy neatness ? O how oft shall he
On faith and changed Gods complain, and seas

Rough with black winds, and storms

Unwonted shall admire !
Who now enjoys thee credulous, all gold,
Who always vacant, always amiable

Hopes thee, of flattering gales

Unmindful. Hapless they
To whom thou untried seem'st fair. Me, in niy

vow'd
Picture, the sacred wall declares to have hung

My dank and dropping weeds
To the stern God of sea.

FROM GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH.'

Brutus thus addresses Diana in the country of Leogecia :

GODDESS of shades, and huntress, who at will
Walk'st on the rolling spheres, and through the deep;
On thy third reign, the earth, look now, and tell
What land, what seat of rest, thou bidd’st me seek,
What certain seat, where I may worship thee
For aye, with temples vow'd, and virgin quires.

1 An ancient British historian and writer. He died 1154,

To whom, sleeping before the altar, Diana answers in a vision the same night :

BRUTUS, far to the west, in the ocean wide,
Beyond the realm of Gaul, a land there lies,
Sea-girt it lies, where giants dwelt of old,
Now void, it fits thy people: thither bend
Thy course, there shalt thou find a lasting seat;
There to thy sons another Troy shall rise,
And kings be born of thee, whose dreadful might
Shall awe the world, and conquer nations bold.

FROM DANTE.

Ah, Constantine, of how much ill was cause,
Not thy conversion, but those rich domains
That the first wealthy pope received of thee.

FROM DANTE.
FOUNDED in chaste and humble poverty,
'Gainst them that raised thee dost thou lift thy horn,
Impudent whore, where hast thou placed thy hope ?
In thy adulterers, or thy ill-got wealth ?
Another Constantine comes not in haste,

FROM ARIOSTO.

:

THEN past he to a flow'ry mountain green,
Which once smelt sweet, now stinks as odiously :
This was the gift, if you the truth will have,
That Constantine to good Sylvester gave.

FROM HORACE.

WHOM do we count a good man? Whom but he
Who keeps the laws and statutes of the senate,
Who judges in great suits and controversies,
Whose witness and opinion wins the cause ?
But his own house, and the whole neighbourhood,
Sees his foul inside through his whited skin.

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