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worthies were then breathing in her air, who should never be forgotten by any revolution of time that this world hath to finish.

“Lords and Commons of England ! consider what nation it is whereof ye are, and whereof ye are the governors'; a nation not slow and dull, but of a quick, ingenious, and piercing spirit; acute to invent, subtile' and sinewyi to discourse, not beneath the reach of any point that human capacity can soar to...fjs.it of

* Methinks: I see in my mind'amoble and puissant natioh rousing herself like a strong man aftérr sleep, and shaking her invincible locks; mėthinks I see her as an eagle mêwing her mighty yönth, and kindling her undazzled eple at the full mid-day beam purging and unscaling her long-abused sight at the

at the fountain itself of heavenly radiance; while the whole noise of timorous and flocking birds, with those. also that love the twilight, Autter aborty amazed atwhat she

gifoor 30: TL Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter ? Her confuting is the best and surest suppressing. He who hears what praying there is for light and clear knowledge to be sent down among us, would think of other matters to be constituted beyond the discipline of Geneva, framed and fabricked already to our hands. Yet when the new light which we beg for shines in upon us, there be who envy and oppose, if it comes not first in at their casements. What a collusion is this, when as we are exhorted by the wise man to use diligence, 'to seek for wisdom as for hidden treasures,' early and late, that another order shall enjoin us to know nothing but by statute! When a man hath been labouring the hardest labour in the deep mines of knowledge, hath furnished out his findings in all their equipage, drawn forth his reasons, as it were a battle ranged, scattered and defeated all objections in his way, calls out his adversary into the plain, offers him the advantage of wind and sun, if he please, only that he may try the matter by dint of argument; for his opponents then to skulk, to lay ambushments, to keep a narrow bridge of licensing where the challenger should pass, though it be valour enough in soldiership, is but weakness and cowardice in the wars of Truth. For who knows not that Truth is strong, next to the Almighty ? She needs no policies, nor stratagems, nor licensings, to make her

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victorious; those are the shifts and the defences that error uses against her power; give her but room, and do not bind her when she sleeps."

This appeal of Milton was unsuccessful, and it was not till 1694 that England was set free from the censors of the press.

Milton received from Dryden an eulogium, so well known that we forbear to repeat it. Other poets have re-echoed the strain; and now, at the close of two hundred and sixty-four years, he occupies his niche of fame beside Shakespeare and the great poets of antiquity; his faults, his mistakes, and his controversial writings buried in a merciful oblivion, while the good he did

“ Livos after him,"

rejoicing, for all times, the nation which holds as one of its titles to honour the name of John MILTON.

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Early Poems.

ANNO ÆTATIS 17.

ON THE DEATH OF A FAIR INFANT,’ DYING OF A COUGH.

1625.

I.

O FAIREST flower, no sooner blown but blasted,
Soft silken primrose fading timelessly,
Summer's chief honour, if thou hadst out-lasted
Bleak Winter's force that made thy blossom dry;
For he being amorous on that lovely dye

That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss,
But kill'd, alas, and then bewail'd his fatal bliss.

I.

2

For since grim Aquilo? his charioteer
By boisterous rape th’ Athenian damsel got,
He thought it touch'd his deity full near,
If likewise be some fair one wedded not,
Thereby to wipe away the infámous blot

Of long-uncoupled bed, and childless eld,
Which ’mongst the wanton Gods a foul reproach was held.

i The Poet's infant niece, daughter of his sister, Mrs. Philips.

2 Boreas, or the North Wind. 3 Orithyia.-Ovid, Metam. 6.

III.

So mounting up in icy-pearlèd car,
Through middle empire of the freezing air
He wander'd long, till thee he spy'd from far;
There ended was his quest, there ceased his care.
Down he descended from his snow-soft chair,

But all unwares with his cold-kind embrace
Unhoused thy virgin soul from her fair biding place.

IV.

Yet art thou not inglorious in thy fate;
For so Apollo, with unweeting hand,
Whilome did slay his dearly-lovèd mate,
Young Hyacinth,' born on Eurotas' strand,
Young Hyacinth, the pride of Spartan land;

But then transform’d him to a purple flower :
Alack, that so to change thee Winter had no power!

:

V.

Yet can I not persuade me thou art dead,
Or that thy corse corrupts in earth's dark womb,
Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed,
Hid from the world in a low delvèd tomb;
Could Heaven for pity thee so strictly doom. ?

Oh no! for something in thy face did shine ,
Above mortality, that show'd thou wast divine.

VI.

Resolve me then, oh Soul most surely blest,
(If so it be that thou these plaints dost hear,)
Tell me, bright Spirit, where'er thou hoverest,
Whether above that high first-moving sphere,
Or in th’ Elysian fields, (if such there were,)

Oh say me true, if thou wert mortal wight,
And why from us so quickly thou didst take thy flight.

! A prince of Sparta, said to have been accidentally slain by Apollo. Festivals

to his honour' were held annually by the Greeks at Amyclæ, a city of Laconia.

VII.

Wert thou some star which from the ruin'd roof
Of shaked Olympus by mischance didst fall;
Which careful Jove in nature's true behoof
Took

up,

and in fit place did reinstall ? Or did of late earth's sons besiege the wall

Of sheeny Heaven, and thou some Goddess fled Amongst us here below to hide thy nectar'd head ?

VIII.

Or wert thou that just Maid, who once before
Forsook the hated earth, 0 tell me sooth,
And camest again to visit us once more?
Or wert thou that sweet-smiling youth?
Or that crown'd matron sage white-robed Truth?

Or any other of that heavenly brood
Let down in cloudy throne to do the world some good ?

IX.

Or wert thou of the golden-winged host,
Who having clad thyself in human weed,
To earth from thy prefixed seat didst post,
And after short abode fly back with speed,
As if to show what creatures heaven doth breed,

Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire
To scorn the sordid world and unto heaven aspire ?

But oh, why didst thou not stay here below
To bless us with thy heaven-loved innocence,
To slake his wrath whom sin hath made our foe,
To turn swift-rushing black Perdition hence,
Or drive away the slaughtering Pestilence,

To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart?
But thou canst best perform that office where thou art.

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