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XX. TO MR. LAWRENCE.*
LAWRENCE, of virtuous father virtuous son,
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 on the royal bench
* Lawrence published a work called 'Of our Communion and Warre with Angels,' &c. 1646. 4to. Todd. See British Bibliographer, vol. i. p. 352.
7 Euclid] See Censura Literaria, vi. p. 144.
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,
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.'
Nor to their idle orbs doth day appear
Or sun or moon. Newton.
7a] In the printed copies,' one.'
Of which all Europe rings from side to side, This thought might lead me through the world's 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, Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave, 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,
I wak'd, she fled, and day brought back my night.*
12 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.
*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. 500-3.
PSALM I. DONE INTO VERSE, 1653.
BLESS'D is the man who hath not walk'd astray In counsel of the wicked, and i' th' way
Of sinners hath not stood,
Of scorners hath not sat.
and in the seat
But in the great
Nor sinners in th' assembly of just men.
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
And now be wise at length ye Kings averse,
If once his wrath take fire like fuel sere.
18 Heathen] Warton in both editions reads 'The Hea ven.' Todd.