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XX. TO MR. LAWRENCE.*
LAWRENCE, of virtuous father virtuous son,
Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire,
may From the hard season gaining ? Time will run
On smoother, till Favonius re-inspire
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 on the royal bench
Of British Themis, with no mean applause Pronounc'd and in his volumes taught our laws,
Which others at their bar so often wrench;
In mirth, that after no repenting draws;
* Lawrence published a work called “Of our Communion and Warre with Angels,' &c. 1646. 4to. Todd. See British Bibliographer, vol. i. p. 352.
? Euclid) See Censura Literaria, vi.
And what the Swede intends, and what the French. 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, tho'clear,
To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear
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 overIn liberty's defence, my noble task, [plied
8. And what the Swede intends] So the MS. The first ed. * And what the Swede intend,' which in others is altered to, And what the Swedes intend. Newton.
11 mild Heaven] So Son. xix. bear his mild yoke.' Par. Reg. ii. 125,' these mild seats.' Sil. Italicus, iv. 795, . Mite et cognatum est homini deus.' And Hen. More's Poems, p. 196. 3 Bereft, &c.] In the printed copies,
Dereft of sight their seeing have forgot,
Or sun or moon. Newton,
Of which all Europe rings from side to side,
vain mask Content though blind, had I no better guide.
XXIII. ON HIS DECEASED WIFE.
Methought I saw my late espoused saint
Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave,
Rescued from death by force, tho' pale and faint. Mine, as whom wash'd from spot of child-bed
Purification in the old Law did save, [taint And such, as yet once more I trust to have
Full sight of her in Heav'n without restraint, Came, vested all in white, pure as her mind :
Her face was veil'd, yet to my fancied sight 10
Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd So clear, as in no face with more delight.
But O, as to embrace me she inclin'd,
night.* 19 rings] So the printed copies before Newton's edition, in which talks' is substituted from the MS. instead of ‘rings.' The Sonnet thus concluded before Newton's ed. • Whereof all Europe rings from side to side. This thought might lead me through this world's vain mask, Content though blind, had I no other guide. Todd.
* The original various readings to the sonnets from the Cambridge MS. may be seen in Mr. Todd's edition of Mil. ton's Poet. Works, (1809,) vol. vi. p. 5003.
PSALM I. DONE INTO VERSE, 1653.
Bless'd is the man who hath not walk'd astray
PSALM II. DONE AUG, 8, 1653. TERZETTI.
Why do the Gentiles tumult, and the nations
Muse a vain thing, the kings of th'earth upstand
With pow'r, and princes in their congregations Lay deep their plots together through each land
Against the Lord and his Messiah dear?
Let us break off, say they, by strength of hand Their bonds, and cast from us, no more to wear, Their twisted cords: He who in heav'n doth
dwell Shall laugh, the Lord shall scoff them, then
Speak to them in his wrath, and in his fell
And fierce ire trouble them; but I, saith he,
Anointed have my King (though ye rebel) On Sion my holy' hill. A firm decree
I will declare; the Lord to me hath said
Thou art my Son, I have begotten thee This day; ask of me, and the grant is made;
As thy possession I on thee bestow
Th’ Heathen, and as thy conquest to be sway'd Earth's utmost bounds: them shalt thou bring
full low With iron sceptre bruised, and them disperse
Like to a potter's vessel shiver'd so.
Be taught, ye Judges of the earth ; with fear
Jehovah serve, and let your joy converse With trembling; kiss the Son lest he appear
In anger, and ye perish in the way,
If once his wrath take fire like fuel sere. Happy all those who have in them their stay.
18 Heathen] Warton in both editions reads · The Hlea: ven.' Todd.