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ON THE DETRACTION WHICH FOLLOWED UPON MY

WRITING CERTAIN TREATISES.

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 sci e 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.

ON THE SAME.
Idm 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 :*

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

" Forcers of Conscience.”WARTON.

2 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. Не was the first Professor of Greek at Cambridge, and restored the original pronunciation of it. He was tutor to Edward VI. * Milton's treatises were on the subieot. 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. Ho thus stigmatizes the Presbyterian clergy.

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

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."

XI. TO MR. H. LAWES3 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;
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 Phæbus' 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.

i See OVID, Diet. VI. fab. iv. “Le tona's progony" were Apollo and Diana, the sun god and moon goddess.

? A fine moral, coming, too, from a Republican poet. 8 The musician who put the music to Comus • Mid:8, a King of Phrygia. Ho decided that Pan was superior in singing

and playing on the flute to Apollo; and to pinush 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 Purgatori, Dante recognizes his friend Casella, the musician. In the course of an affeco tionate conversation, Dante asks for a song to soothe him, and Casella sings

, with ravishing sweetness, the poet's second Canzone. See secund cant. a Danta's " Purgatorio."

SONNETS

48E

XIV.

ON THE RELIGIOUS MEMORY OF MRS. CATHERINE

THOMSON,
MI 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 pare inimortal streams.

XV.

TO THE LORD GENERAL HAIRFAX.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 league to imp their serpent wings.

When Milton was first made Latin Secretary to Cromwell, he lodged at a Mr. Thomson's, next to the “Bull Head" Tavern, Charing Cross. Mrs. Thomson is supposed to have been the wife of his landlord.-NEWTON.

? Addressed to Fairfax at the sicge of Colchester, It was first printed. to

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

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

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.

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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 ? lanreat 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.

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

→ Dunbar and Worcester were both

fought September 8-one 1650, the other
1651.

3 He alludes to the Preshyterian clergy.
They tried to persuade Cromwell to use
the secular power against Sectaries.

1

IVIL

TO SIR HENRY VANE THE YOUNGER.

1652.

Vane, young in years, but in sage counsel old,

Tnan 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 ? 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 bavo
The bounds of either sword to thee we owe: Edone :

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

XVIIL

ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEDMONT.:

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,

mas

1 This sonnet seems to have been written in behalf of the Independents against the Presbyterian hierarchy. Vane was the chief of the Independents, and therefore Milton's friend. He was a most eccentric character, a mixture of the wildest fanaticism and good sense. He was beheaded after the Restoration, 1662.– From WARIN.

2 The States of Holland,

3 In 1665 the Duke of Savoy determined to make his reformed sub

jects in Piedmont return to the Roman
Church. All who refused complianco
with the_sovereign's will were
sacred. Those who escaped, concealed
in their mountain fastnesses, sent to
Cromwell for relief. Milton's holy in-
dignation found expression in this fine
sonpet, which

of great effect. Cromwell commanded a general fast, and a national contribution for the relic of the sufferers. £40,000 were collected. He then wrote to the Duke: and so

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