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The hairy gown and mossy cell,

Or any other of that heavenly brood

35 Where I may sit and rightly spell

170 Let down in cloudy throne to do the world some Of every star that Heaven doth shew,

good ? And every herb that sips' the dew; Till old experience do attain

IX. To something like prophetic strain.

Or wert thou of tlıe golden-winged host, These pleasures, Melancholy, give,

175 Who having clad thyself in human weed, And I with thee will choose to live.

To earth from thy prefixed seat didst post,
And after short abode fly back with speed, 60
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? ON THE DEATH OF A FAIR INFANT, DYING OF A COUGH.

But oh! why didst thou not stay here below

To bless us with thy heaven-lov'd innocence, 65 I.

To slake his wrath whom sin hath made our foe, O FAIREST flower, no sooner blown but blasted, To turn swift-rushing black perdition hence, Soft silken primrose fading timelessly,

Or drive away the slaughtering pestilence, Summer's chief honour, if thou hadst out-lasted To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart? Bleak Winter's force that made thy blossom dry : But thou canst best perform that otfice where For he being amorous on that lovely dye

5
thou art.

70 That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss,

XI.
But kill'd, alas, and then bewail'd his fatal bliss.

Then thou, the mother of so sweet a Child,
II.

Her false imagin'd loss cease to larnent,
For since grim Aquilo his charioteer

And wisely learn to curb thy sorrows wild; By boist'rous rape th' Athenian damsel got,

Think what a present thou to God hast sent, He thought it touch'd his deity full near, 10

And render him with patience what he lent: 75 If likewise he some fair one wedded not,

This if thou do, he will an offering give Thereby to wipe away th' infamous blot

That till the world's last end shall make thy name Of long-uncoupled bed, and childless eld,

to live.
Which 'mongst the wanton gods a foul reproach
was held.

III.
So, mounting up in icy-pearled car,

15
Through middle empire of the freezing air,
He wander'd long, till thee he spicd from far; Anno Ætatis 19. (1627.) At a Vacation Erercise in
There ended was bis quest, there ceas'd his care : the College, part Latin, part English. The Latin
Down he descended from his snow-soft chair,

Speeches ended, the English thus began: But all unwares with his cold-kind embrace 20 Unhous'd thy virgin soul from her fair biding place. HAIL, native language, that by sinews weak IV.

Didst move my first endeavouring tongue to speak,

And mad'st imperfect words with childish trips, Yet art thou not inglorious in thy fate;

Half unpronounc'd, slide through my infant lips, For so Apollo, with unweeting hand,

Driving dumb Silence from the portal door, 5 Whilome did slay his dearly loved mate,

Where he had mutely sat two years before : Young Hyacinth born on Eurotas' strand, 25 Here I salute thee, and thy pardon ask, Young Hyacinth the pride of Spartan land;

That now I use thee in my latter task : But then transforni'd him to a purple flower : Small loss it is that thence can come unto thee, Alack that so to change thee Winier had no power. I know my tongue but little grace can do thee: 10 V.

Thou need'st not be ambitious to be first,

Believe me I have thither pack'd the worst:
Yet can I not persuade me thou art dead,

And, if it happen as I did forecast,
Or that thy corse corrupts in earth's dark womb, The daintiest dishes shall be serv'd up last.
Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed,
31 I pray thee then deny me not thy aid

15 Hid from the world in a low delved tomb;

For this same small neglect that I have made : Could Heaven for pity thee so strictiy doom? But haste thee straight

to do me once a pleasure, Oh no! for something in thy face did shine And from thy wardrobe bring thy chiefest treasure, Above mortality, that show'd thou wast divine. 35 Not those new fangled toys, and trimming slight VI.

20 Which takes our late fantastics with delight,

But cull those richest robes, and gay'st attire Resolve me then, oh Soul most surely bless'd, ; Which deepest spirits, and choicest wits desire : (If so it be that thou these plaints dost hear)

I have some naked thoughts that rove about, Tell me, bright Spirit, where'er thou hoverest, And loudly knock to have their passage out ; Whether above that high first-moving sphere, And weary of their place do only stay

25 Or in th' Elysian fields (if such there were) 40 Till thou hast deck'd them in thy best array: O say me true, if thou wert mortal wight,

That so they may without suspect or fears And why from us so quickly thou didst take thy Fly swiftly to this fair assembly's ears. flight?

Yet I had rather, if I were to choose,
VII.

30 Thy service in some graver subject use,

Such as may make thee search thy coffers round, Wert thou some star which from the ruin'd roof Before thou clothe my fancy in fit sound : Of shak'd Olympus by mischance didst fall; Such where the deep transported mind may soar Which careful Jove in nature's true behoof 45 Above the wheeling poles, and at Heaven's door Took up, and in fit place did reinstall ?

Look in, and see each blissful Deity

35 Or did of late earth's sons besiege the wall

How he before the thunderous throne doth lie, Of sheeny Heaven, and thou, some Goddess fled, List'ning to what unshorn Apollo sings, Amongst us here below to hide thy nectar'd head ? To th' touch of golden wires, while Hebe brings VIII.

Immortal nectar to her kingly sire:

Then passing thro' the spheres of watchful fire, 40 Or wert thou that just maid who once before 50 And misty regions of wide air next under, Forsook the hated earth, O tell me sooth,

And hills of snow, and ofts of piled hunder, And cam'st again to visit us once more ?

May tell at length how green-ey'd Neptune raves, Or wert thou, (Mercy,] that sweet smiling Youth ? In Heaven's defiance mustering all his waves. Or that crown'd matron sage white-robed Truth? Then sing of secret things that came to pass 45

When beldam Nature in her cradle was;

And last of kings and queens and heroes old, • Composed in 1625, the 17th year of Milton's Such as the wise Demodocus once told age. This infant was the author's niece, a daugh. In solemn songs at king Alcinus' feast, Ler of his sister Philips, and probably her first child.

While sad Ulysses' soul and all the rest

50

11.

Are held with his melodious harmony

Forsook the courts of everlasting day, In willing chains and sweet captivity.

And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay. But fie, nuy wand'ring Muse, how thou dost stray !

III Expectance calls thee now another way; Thou know'st it must be now thy only bent 55 Say, heavenly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein 15 To keep in compass' of thy predicament:

Afford a present to the Infant-God ?
Then quick about thy purpos'd business come, Hast thou no verse, no hynn, or solemn strain,
That to the next I may resign my room.

To welcome him to this his new abode,
Now while the Heaven by the sun's team untrod,

Hath took no print of the approaching light, 20 Then Ens is represented as Father of the Predica

And all the spangled host keep watch in squadrons ments his two Sons, whereof the eldest stood for

bright? Substance with his Canons, which Ens thus speak.

IV. ing explains.

See how from far upon the eastern road

The star-led wisards haste with odours sweet; Good luck befriend thee, Son; for at thy birth

O run, prevent them with thy humble ode, 60

And lay it lowly at his blessed feet; The fairy ladies danc'd upon the hearth;

25

Have thou the honour first thy Lord to greet,
Thy drowsy nurse hath sworn she did them spy
Come tripping to the room where thou didst fie,

And join thy voice unto the Angel quire,

From out his secret altar touch'd with hallow'd fire. And, sweetly singing round about thy bed, Strow all their blessings on thy sleeping head. She heard them give thee this, that thou shouldst still

65 From eyes of mortals walk invisible:

THE HYMN.
Yet there is something that doth force my fear,
For once it was my dismal hap to hear

I.
A Sibyl old, bow-bent with crooked age,
That far events full wisely could presage, 70

IT was the winter wild,
And in time's long and dark prospective glass

While the Heaven-born child

30 Foresaw what future days should bring to pass :

All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies

Nature in awe to him
Your son, said she, (nor can you it prevent)

Had doff"d her gaudy trim,
Shall subject be to many an accident.
O'er all his brethren he shall reign as king, 75

With her great Master so to sympathize :
It was no season then for her

35 Yet every one shall make him underling, And those that cannot live from him asunder

To wanton with the sun, her lusty paramour. Ungratefully shall strive to keep him under, In worth and excellence she shall out-go them, Yet

being above them, he shall be below them; 80 Only, with speeches fair, From others he shall stand in need of nothing,

She wooes the gentle air, Yet on his brothers shall depend for clothing.

To hide her guilty front with innocent snov; To find a foe it shall not be his hap,

And on her naked shame,

40 And Peace shall lull him in her flowery lap;

Pollute with sinful blame, Yet shall he live in strife, and at his door 85

The saintly veil of maiden white to throw; Devouring War shall never cease to roar:

Confounded, that her Maker's eyes Yea it shall be his natural property

Should look so near upon her foul deformities. To harbour those that are at enmity.

III.
What power, what force, what mighty spell, if not
Your learned hands, can loose this Gordian knot ?90

But he her fears to cease

45

Sent down the meek-ey'd Peace; The next Quantity and Quality spcke in Prose; then

She, crown'd with olive green, came softly-sliding Relation was called by his Name.

Down through the turning sphere

His ready harbinger, Rivers, arise; whether thou be the son

With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing, 50 Of utmost Tweed, or Oose, or gulfy Dun,

And waving wide her myrtle wand, Or Trent, who like some earth-born giant spreads

She strikes a universal peace through sea and His thirty arms along th' indented meads;

land. Or sullen Mole, that runneth underneath; 95

IV.
Or Severn swift, guilty of maidens' death ;
Or rocky Avon, or of sedgy Lee,

No war, or battle's sound
Or coalý Tine, or ancient hallow'd Dee;

Was heard the world around: Or Humber loud, that keeps the Scythian's name;

The idle spear and shield were high up hung;55 Or Medway smooth, or royal towered Thame. 100

The hooked chariot stood

Unstain'd with hostile blood;
[The rest was Prose.]

The trumpet spake not to the armed throng;
And kings sat still with awful eye,
As if they surely knew their sov'reign Lord was by.

V
But peaceful was the night,

61 Wherein the Prince of Light ON THE MORNING OF CHRIST'S

His reign of peace upon the earth began :

The winds, with wonder whist,
NATIVITY.
Smoothly the waters kiss'd,

65 Composed in 1629.

Whisp'ring new joys to the mild ocean ;

Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
I.

While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed THIS is the month, and this the happy morn,

wave. Wherein the Son of Heaven's eternal King,

VI. Of wedded Maid, and Virgin-Mother born, The stars, with deep amaze, Our great redemption from above did bring;

70 For so he holy sages once did sing,

Stand fix'd in steadfast gaze,
5

Bending one way their precious influence,
That he our deadly forfeit should release,
And with his Father work us a perpetual peace.

And will not take their flight,

For all the morning light,
II.

Or Lucifer that often warn'd them thence;
That glorious form, that light unsufferable,

But in their glimmering orbs did glow,. And that far-beaming blaze of majesty,

Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them go Wherewith he wont at Heaven's high council-table

VII. To sit the midst of Trinal-Unity,

11 And though the shady gloom He laid aside; and, here with us to be,

Had given day her room,

The sun himself withheld his wonted speed, The Babe yet lies in smiling infancy, And hid his head for shame,

80 That on the bitter cross As his inferior flame

Must redeem our loss;
The new enlighten'd world no more should need; So both himself and us to glorify:
He saw.a greater Sun appear

Yet first, to those ychain'd in sleep,

155 Than his bright throne, or burning axletree, could The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through bear.

the deep; VIII.

XVII. The shepherds on the lawn,

85 With such a horrid clang Or ere the point of dawn,

As on mount Sinai rang, Sat simply chatting in a rustic row;

While the red fire and smouldering clouds outFull little thought they then,

brake; That the mighty Pan

The aged earth aghast,

160 Was kindly come to live with them below; 90

With terror of that blast, Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep,

Shall from the surface to the centre shake; Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep. When at the world's last session,

[throne. IX.

The dreadful Judge in middle air shall spread his When such inusic sweet

XVIII. Their hearts and ears did greet,

And then at last our bliss

165 As never was by mortal finger strook;

95 Full and perfect is, Divinely-warbled voice

But now begins; for from this happy day Answering the stringed noise,

Th' old Dragon under ground As all their souls in blissful rapture took :

In straiter limits bound, The air, such pleasures loth to lose,

Not half so far casts his usurped sway,

170 With thousand echoes still prolongs each heavenly And, wroth to see his kingdom fail, close.

100 Swinges the scaly horror of his folded tail,

XIX. Nature that heard such sound,

The oracles are dumb, Beneath the hollow round

No voice or hideous hum Of Cynthia's seat, the airy region thrilling,

Runs through the arched roof in words deceiving. Now was almost won

Apollo from his shrine

176 To think her part was done,

105 Can no more divine, And that her reign had here its last fulfilling ; With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving. She knew such harmony alone

No nightly trance, or breathed spell, Could hold all Heaven and Earth in happier union. Inspires the pale-ey'd priest from the prophetic cell.

XX. At last surrounds their sight

The lonely mountains o'er

181 A globe of cireular light,

110 And the resounding shore, That with long beams the shame-fac'd night ar A voice of weeping heard and loud lament; The helmed Cherubim,

[ray'd;
From haunted spring and dale,

196 And sworded Seraphim,

Edgʻd with poplar pale, Are seen in glittering ranks with wings display'd,

The parting Genius is with sighing sent:

(mourn. Harping in loud and solemn quire, (Hcir. With flower-inwoven tresses torn, With unexpressive notes, to Heaven's new-born The Nymphs, in twilight shade of tangled thickets, XII.

XXI. Sueh music (as 'tis said)

In consecrated earth,

190 Before was never made,

And on the holy hearth, But when of old the sons of morning sung,

The Lars, and Lemures moan with midnight While the Creator great 120 In urns and altars round,

(plaint; His constellation set,

A drear and dying sound And the well-balanc'd world on hinges hung,

Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint ;

195 And cast the dark foundations decp,

And the chill marble seems to sweat, And bid the welt'ring waves their cozy channel keep.

While each peculiar Power foregoes his wonted seat. XIII.

XXII. Ring out, ye crystal Spheres,

125 Peor and Baalim Once bless our human ears,

Forsake their temples dim, (If ye have power to touch our senses so)

With that twice-batter'd god of Palestine; And let your silver chime

And mooned Ashtaroth,

200 Move in melodious time;

Heaven's queen and mother both,
And let the base of Heaven's deep organ blow;130 Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shrine;
And with your ninefold harmony

The Lybic Hammon shrinks his horn, (moum. Make up full concert to th' angelic symphony. . In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thaminuz XIV.

XXIII. For if such holy song

And sullen Moloch fled,

20s Inwrap our fancy long,

Hath left in shadows dread
Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold; His burning idol all of blackest hue;
And speckled Vanity

136 In vain, with cymbals' ring, Will sicken soon and die,

They call the grisly king, And leprous Sin will melt from earthly mold; In dismal dance about the furnace blue : 210 And Hell itself will pass away,

[day. The brutish gods of Nile as fast, And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering Isis and Orus, and the dog Anubis, haste. XV.

XXIV. Yea, Truth and Justice then,

141 Nor is Osiris seen Will down return to men,

In Memphian grove or green,

floud: Orb'd in a rainbow; and, like glories wearing, Trampling the unshower'a grass with lowings Mercy will sit between,

Nor can he be at rest

216 Thrond in celestial sheen,

145 Within his sacred chest ; With radiant feet the tissued clouds down steer. Nought but profoundest Hell can be his shroud; And Heaven, as at some festival,

[ing;

In vain with timbrel'd anthems dark Will open wide the gates of her high palace nall. The sable-stoled sorcerers bear his worshipp'd ark. XVI.

XXV. Rut wisest Fate says no,

He feels from Judah's land

221 This must not yet be so,

150 The dreaded Infant's hand,

The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyne; There doth my soul in holy vision sit,

41 Nor all the gods beside,

In pensive trance, and anguish, and ecstatic St. Longer dare abide,

225 Nor Typhon huge ending in snaky twine :

VII. Our Babe, to show his Godhead true, (crew. Mine eye hath found that sad sepulchral rock Can in his swaddling bands control the damned That was the casket of Heaven's richest store; XXVI.

And here though grief my feeble hands up lock, 45

Yet on the soften'd quarry would I score So when the sun in bed,

My plaining verse as lively as before : Curtaind with cloudy red,

230 For sure so well instructed are my tears, Pillows his chin upon an orient wave,

That they would fitly fall in order'd characters. The flocking shadows pale

VIII,
Troop to th' infernal jail,
Each fetter'd ghost slips to his several grave;

Or should I thence hurried on viewless wing, 50 And the yellow-skirted fays

235

Take up a weeping on the mountains wild, Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moon-lov'd The gentle neighbourhood of grove and spring maze.

Would soon unbosom all their echoes mild;

And I (for grief is easily beguild)
XXVII.

Might think th' infection of my sorrows loud 53 But see, the Virgin-bless'd

Had got a race of mourners on some pregnant Hath laid her Babe to rest ;

[ing:

cloud. Time is, our tedious song should here have end. Heaven's youngest-teemed star

240 Hath fix'd her polish'd car,

(ing: This subject the Author finding to be above the Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp attend years he had, when he wrote it, and nothing satisAnd all about the courtly stable

tied with what was begun, left it unfinished. Bright-harness'd angels sit in order serviceable.

THE PASSION.

ON TIME.
I.

FLY, envious Time, till thou run out thy race ; EREWHILE of music, and etherial mirth, Call on the lazy, leaden-stepping hours, Wherewith the stage of air and earth did ring, Whose speed is but the heavy plummet's pace; And joyous news of Heavenly Infant's birth, And gluf thyself with what thy womb devours, My Muse with Angels did divide to sing;

Which is no more than what is false and vain, 5 But headlong joy is ever on the wing,

5 And merely mortal dross;
In wintry solstice like the shorten'd light (night. So little is our loss,
Soon swallow'd up in dark, and long out-living So little is thy gain!
II.

For when as each thing bad thou hast intomb'd,
And last of all thy greedy self consum'd,

10 For now to sorrow must I tune my song,

Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
And set my harp to notes of saddest woe,

With an individual kiss;
Which on our dearest Lord did seize ere long, 10 And Joy shall overtake us as a flood,
Dangers, and snares, and wrongs, and worse than so, When every thing that is sincerely good
Which he for us did freely undergo :

And perfectly divine,

15 Most perfect Hero, tried in heaviest plight With Truth, and Peace, and Love, shall ever shine Of labours huge and hard, too hard for human About the supreme throne wight!

Of Him, to' whose happy-making sight alone
ΙΙΙ. .

When once our heavenly guided soul shall climb;
Then, all this earthly grossness quit,

20
He, sovereign Priest, stooping his regal head, 15 Attir'd with stars, we shall for ever sit,
That dropp'd with cdorous oil down his fair eyes, Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee
Poor fleshly tabernacle entered,

o Time!
His starry front low-roof'd beneath the skies :
O, what a mask was there, what a disguise !

Yet more; the stroke of death he must abide, 20
Then lies him meekly down fast by his brethren's
side.
IV.

UPON THE CIRCUMCISION.
These latest scenes confine my roving verse;
To this horizon is my Phæbus bound :
His godlike acts, and his temptations fierce, YE flaming Powers, and winged Warriors bright,
And former sufferings, other where are found; 25 That erst with music, and triumphant song,
Loud o'er the rest Cremona's trump doth sound;

First heard by happy, watchful shepherds' ear, Me softer airs befit, and softer strings

So sweetly sung your joy the clouds along Of lute or viol still, more apt for mouriful things.

Through the soft silence of the list'ning night; 5

Now mourn; and, if sad share with us to bear V

Your fiery essence can distil no tear, Befriend me, Night, best patroness of grief;

Burn in your sighs, and borrow Over the pole thy thickest mantle throw, 30 Seas wept from our deep sorrow : And work my flatter'd fancy to belief,

He, who with all Heaven's heraldry whilere 10 That Heaven and Earth are colour'd with my woe;

Enter'd the world, now bleeds to give us ease; My sorrows are too dark for day to know :

Alas, how soon our sin The leaves should all be black whereon I write,

Sore doth begin
And letters, where my tears have wash'd, a wan-

His infancy to seize!
nish white.
35 O more exceeding love, or law more just?

15
Just law indeed, but more exceeding love!
VI.

For we, by rightful doom remediless,
See, see the chariot, and those rushing wheels,

Were lost in death, till he, that dwelt above
That whirl'd the Prophet up at Chebar flood; High thron'd in secret bliss, for us frail dust
My spirit some transporting Cherub feels,
To bear me where the towers of Salem stood,
Once glorious towers, now sunk in guiltless blood:

• In these poems where no date is prefixed, and no circumstances direct to ascertain the time when they were composed, the order of Milton's own

editions is followed. Before this copy of verses, it . This poem appears to have been composed appears from the author's manuscript, that he had soon after the Ode on the Nativity.

written, To be set on a clock-case.

Emptied his glory, even to nakedness;

20 The hapless babe, before his birth, And that great covenant which we still transgress Had burial, yet not laid in earth; Entirely satisfied ;

And the languish'd mother's womb And the full wrath beside

Was not long a living tomb. Of vengeful justice bore for our excess;

So have I seen some tender slip,

35 And seals obedience first, with wounding smart, 25 Sav'd with care from winter's nip; This day; but o, ere long,

The pride of her carnation train Huge pangs and strong

Pluck'd up by some unheedy swain,
Will pierce more near his heart.

Who only thought to crop the flower
New shot up from vernal shower;

40
But the fair blossom hangs the head
Side-ways, as on a dying bed,
And those pearls of dew, she wears,

Prove to be presaging tears,
AT A SOLEMN MUSIC.
Which the sad morn had let fall

45

On her hast'ning funeral. BLESS'D pair of Syrens, pledges of Heaven's joy,

Gentle Lady, may thy grave Sphere-born, harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse,

Peace and quiet ever have; Wed your divine sounds, and mix'd power employ

After this thy travail sore Dead things with inbreath'd sense able to pierce;

Sweet rest seize thee evermore,

50 And to our high-rais'd phantasy present

5

That to give the world increase,
That undisturbed song of pure concent,

Shorten'd hast thy own life's lease.
Aye sung before the sapphire-colour'd throne, Here, besides the sorrowing
To him that sits thereon,

That thy noble house doth bring,
With saintly shout, and solemn jubilee,

Here be tears of perfect moan

55 Where the bright Seraphim, in burning row, 10 Wept for thee in Helicon; Their loud, up-lifted angel-trumpets blow:

And some flowers, and some bays And the cherubic host, in thousand quires,

For thy hearse, to strew the ways,
Touch their immortal harps of golden wires,

Sent thee from the banks of Came,
Devoted to thy virtuous name;

GO
With those just Spirits that wear victorious palms;
Hymns devout and holy psalms

Whilst thou, bright Saint, high sitt'st in glory, Singing everlastingly :

Next her, much like to thee in story, That we on earth, with undiscording voice,

That fair Syrian shepherdess, May rightly answer that melodious noise :

Who, after years of barrenness, As once we did; till disproportion'd sin

The highly favour'd Joseph bore

65 Jarr'd against Nature's chime, and with harsh din To him that serv'd for her before, Broke the fair music that all creatures made 21 And at her next birth, much like thee, To their great Lord, whose love their motion sway'd Through pangs fled to felicity, In perfect diapason, whilst they stood

Far within the bosom bright In first obedience, and their state of good.

Of blazing Majesty and Light:

70 O, may we soon again renew that song,

25 There with thee, new welcome Saint, And keep in tune with Heaven, till God, ere long,

Like fortunes may her soul acquaint, To his celestial concert us unite,

With thee there clad in radiant sheen, To live with him, and sing in endless morn of light !

No Marchioness, but now a queen.

SONG.-ON MAY MORNING.

AN EPITAPH ON THE MARCHIONESS OF

WINCHESTER.

Now the bright Morning-star, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.

Hail, bounteous May, thou dost inspire 5
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire;
Woods, and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill, and dale, doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.

10

5

10

ON SHAKSPEARE. 1620.

15

THIS rich marble doth inter
The honour'd wife of Winchester,
A Viscount's daughter, an Earl's heir,
Besides what her virtues fair
Added to her noble birth,
More than she could own from earth.
Summers three times eight save one
She had told, alas ! too soon,
After so short time of breath,
To house with darkness, and with death.
Yet had the number of her days
Been as complete as was her praise,
Nature and Fate had bad no strife
In giving limit to her life.

Her high birth, and her graces swee:,
Quickly found a lover meet;
The virgin quire for her request
The God that sits at marriage feast;
He at their invoking came,
But with a scarce well-lighted flame;
And in his garland, as he stood,
Ye might discern a cypress bud.
Once had the early matrons run
To greet her of a lovely son,
And now with second hope she goes,
And calls Lucina to her throes;
But, whether by mischance or blame,
Atropos for Lucina came;
And, with remorseless cruelty,
Spoil'd at once both fruit and tree:

20

WHAT needs my Shakspeare, for his honour'd
The labour of an age in piled stones? (bones,
Or that his hallow'd relics should be hid
Under a star-ypointing pyramid ?
Dear son of memory, great heir of fame,

3
What need'st thou such weak witness of thy name?
Thou in our wonder and astonishment
Hast built thyself a live-long monument.
For whilst, to th' shame of slow-endeavouring art,
Thy easy numbers flow; and that each heart 10
Haih, from the leaves of thy unvalued book,
Those Delphic lines with deep impression took ;
Then thou, our fancy of itself bereaving,
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving;
And, so sepulchred, in such pomp dost lie, 15
That kings, for such a tomb, would wish to die.

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• This Lady was Jane, daughter of Thomas Lord Visc. Savage of Rock-Savage, Cheshire, who by marriage becarze the heir of Lord Darcy, Earl of Rivers; and was the wife of John Marquis of Winchester, and the mother of Charles first Duke of Bolton. She died in childbed of a second son in the 230 year of her age; and Milton made these verses at Cambridge, as appears by the sequel.

ON THE UNIVERSITY CARRIER,
Who sickened in the time of his vacancy : being forbid

to go to London, by reason of the plague. HERE lies old Hobson; Death hath broke his girt, And here, alas ! hath laid him in the dirt;

. We have the following account of this extraordinary man in the Spectator, No.509. Mr. Tobias

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