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POEMS, UPON SEVERAL OCCASIONS,
COMPOSED AT SEVERAL TIMES.
Baccare frontem “ Cingite, ne vati noceat mala lingua futuro."
VIRGIL, Eclog. vi.
So miounting up in icy pearled car,
Through middle empire of the freezing air On the Death of a fair Infant, dying of a cough*. He wander'd long, till thee he spy'd from far:
There ended was his quest, there ceas'd his care.
Down he descended from his snow-fost chair, Fairest flower, no sooner blown but blasted,
But all unwares with his cold kind embrace 23 O Soft silken primrose fading timeleily,
Unhous'd thy virgin-loul from her fair biding-r. Summer's chief honor, if thou ladí out-lasted
Yet art thou not inglorious in thy fate;
5 That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss,
For fo Apollo, with unweeting hand, But kill'd, alas, and then be wail'd his fatal bliss.
Whiloine did flay his dearly-loved mate,
Young Hyacinth born on Eurocas' strand, 11.
Young Hyacinth the pride of Spartan land; For since grim aquilo his charioteer
But then transform'd him to a purple flower : By boist'rous rape th’ Athenian damfel got,
Alack that so to change thee Winter had to He thought it touch'd his deity full near,
Yet can I not persuade me thou art dead,
Or that thy corse corrupts in earth's dark work, was held.
Hid from the world in a low delved comb;
Oh no! for something in thy face did shine * This elegy was not inserted in the first edition Above mortality, that show'lt thou walt divit. :) of the author's poems, printed in 1645, but was added in the second edition printed in 1673. It was compos'd in the year 1625, that being the Resolve me then, oh Soul most surely bleft, 17th year of Milton's age. In some editions the (If so it he that thou these plaints doit hear) title runs thus, On tbe death of a fuir Infant, a ne Tell nie bright Spirit where'er thou hoverest, phew of bis, dying of a cough: buc the sequel shows whether above that high first-moving sphere
, plainly that the child was not a nep bew, but a niece, Or in th' Elysian fields (if such there were). 49 and confequently a daughter of his lifter Philips, Oh say me true, if thou wert mortal wight, and probably her first child.
And why from us so quickly thou didł take tbt
Driving dumb filence from the portal door, S
Where he'had mutely fat two years before : Wert thou some itar which from the ruin'd roof
Here I salute thee, and thy pardon ask, Of thak'd Olympus by mischance didit fall;
That now I use thee in my latter talk : Which careful Jove io nature's true behoof 45
Small loss it is that thence can come unto thee, Took up, and in fit place did reinstall ?
I know my tongue but little grace can do thee : 10 Or did of late earth's sons besiege the wall
Thou need'st not be ambitious to be first, Of Theeny Heaven, and thou some Goddess fled
Believe me I have thither packt the worst :
And, if it happen as I did forecast,
The daintiest dishes shall be serv'd up last.
I pray thee then deny me not thy aid Forsook the hated earth, Oreli me sooth,
For this same small neglect chat I have made : And can'ít again to visit us once more?
But halte thee strait to do me once a pleasure, Or wert thou that sweet smiling Youth?
And from thy wardrobe bring thy chiefeft trea
fure, Or that crown'd macron sage white-rebed Truth? Or any other of that heav'nly brood
Not those new fangled toys, and trimming flight, 55
Which takes our late fantastics with delight,
But cull those richest robes, and gay'st attire
I have fome naked thoughes that rove about, Or wert thon of the golden-winged host,
And loudly knock to have their passage out; Who having clad thyself in human weed, And weary of their place do only stay 25 To earth from thy prefixed feat didit post, Till thou hast deck'd them in thy best array; And after fort abode fly back with speed, 60 | That so they may without suspect or fears As if to show what creatures Heav'n doth breed, Fly swiftly to this fair assembly's ears; Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire
Yet I had rather, if I were to chuse, To scorn the fordid world, and unto Heav'n aspire? | Thy service in some graver subject use, 30
Such as may make thee search thy coffers round,
Before thou clothe my fancy in fit sound: But oh why didit thou not fay here below Such where the deep transported mind may soar Tobless us with thy heav'n-lov'd innocence, 65 | Above the wheeling poles, and at Heav'n's door To flake his wrath whom sin hath made our foe, Look in, and fee cach blissful Deity
35 To turn fwist-rushing black perdition hence, How he before the thunderous throne doth lie, Or drive away the slaughtering peftilence, Listening to what unfhorn Apollo sings
To ftand 'twixt us and our deferved smart? To th' touch of golden wires, while Hebe brings But thou canst best perform that office where thou Immortal ncclar to her kingly fire:
70 | Then passing through the spheres of watchful fire,
And misty regions of wide air next under 41 Then thcu the Mother of fo sweet a Child
And hills of Inow and lofts of piled thunder, Her false imagin'd loss cease to lament,
May tell at length how green-ey'd Neptune raves, And wisely learn to curb thy forrows wild.
In Heavin's defiance mustering all his wavess Thick what a present thou to God hart sent,
Then sing of secret things that came to pass 45 And render him with patience what he lent!
When beldam Nature in her cradle was;
75 This if thou do, he will an offspring give,
And last of kings and queens and heroes old, That till the world's last end shall make thy name
Such as the wife Demodocus once told to live.
In folenın songs at king Alcinoüs' feast,
In willing chains and sweet captivity.
But fie, my wandering Muse, how thou dost stray!
Expectance calls thee now another way, Anno Æ!utis 19. At a Vacation Exercise in the Col Thou know's it must be now thy only bent 55
lege, part Latin, part English. Tbe Latin speecbes To keep in compass of thy predicament: ended, the Englifo ibus began'.
Then quick about thy purpos'd business come,
'That to the next I may refign my room. Didít speak,
Then Ens is represented as Father of the PredicaAnd mad't imperfect words with childish trips,
ments his ten Sons, wbereof the eldejl food for SubHalf unpronounc'd, slide through my infant-lips,
fiance with bis Canons, wbicb Ens, tbus speaking, explains.
HAVL, native Language, that by finews weak
These verses were made in 1627, that being GOOD luck befriend thee, Son; for at thy birth the 19th year of the author's age; and they were The faery ladies danc'd upon the hearth; 60 not in the edition of 1645, but were first added Thy drousy nurse hath sworn she did them spie: in the edition of 1673.
Come tripping to the room where thou dida lie,
And sweetly singing round about thy bed
Forsook the courts of everlasting day, Strow all their bleflings on thy sleeping head. And chose with us a darksome house of morta, She heard them give thee this, that thou shouldt! clay. still
65 From eyes of mortals walk invisible : Yet there is sonething that doth force my fear, Say heav'nly Muse, shall not thy facred vein 1 For once it was my dismal hap to hear
Afford a present to the Infant God? A Sibyl oid, bow-bent with crooked age,
Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or folemn strain, That far events full wisely could prerage, 70
To welcome him to this his new abode, And in time's long and dark prospective glass Now while the Heav'n by the sun's team untrod. Foresaw what future days should bring to pass;
Hath took no print of the approaching light, 23 Your son, said she, (nor can you it prevent)
And all the spangled host keep watch in squadror. Shall subjed be to many an Accident.
bright? O'er all his brethren he shall reign as king, 75
IV. Yet every one fall make him underling,
See how from far upon the eastern road And those that cannot live from him afunder
The star-led wizards haste with vdors sweet :
O run, prevent them with thy humble ode,
25 Yet, being above them, he shall be below them; From others he shall stand in need of nothing, 81
Have thou the honor first, thy Lord to greet, Yet on his brothers shall depend for clothing.
And join thy voice unto the Angel quire, To find a foe it fall not be his hap,
From out his secret altar touch'd with hallow's
IT was the winter wild,
While the Heav'n-born child
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies; The next Quantity and Quality spake in Profe, tben Nature in awe to him Relation was call'd by bis Name.
Had dofft her gawdy trim, RIVERS arise ; whether thou be the fon 91
With her great Master so to sympathize : Of utmos Tweed, or Oose, or gulphy Dun,
It was no season then for her Or Trent, who like some earth-born giant spreads To wanton with the sun her lusty paramour. His thirty arms along th' indented meads,
11. Or sullen Mole that runneth underneath, 95 Or Severu swift, guilty of maidens' death,
Only with speeches fair Or rocky Avon, or of lodgy Lee,
She woo's the gentle air Or coaly Tine, or ancient hallow'd Dee,
To hide her guilty front with innocent snow, Or Humber loud that keeps the Scythian's name,
And on her naked shame, Dr Medway snooth, or royal towred Thame. 100
Pollute with sinful blan:e,
The faintly veil of maiden white to throw, [Tbe rest was profe.]
Cunfounded, that her Maker's eyes
Should look so near upon her foul deformities. III.
But he her fears to cease,
Sent down the meek-ey'd Peace ;
She, crown'd with olive green, came fun,
Down through the turning sphere
With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing: Of wedded Maid and Virgin Mother born, And waving wide her myrtle wand, 31 Our great redemption from above did bring; She strikes an universal peace through sea and lancFor so the holy sages once did fing,
5 That he our deadly forfeit should release,
IV. And with his father work us a perpetual peace. No war, or batteľs found
Was heard the world around :
The idle spear and thield were high up hung, That glorious form, that light unsufferable, The hooked chariot stood, And that far-beaming blaze of majesty,
Unstain'd with hostile blood, Wherewith he wont at Heav'n's high council-table The trumpet spake not to the armed throng, To fit the midst of Trinal Unity,
II And kings fat still with awful eye, He laid aside; and here with us to be,
As if they surely knew their sovran Lord was br.
That with long beams the fame-fac'd nigh But peaceful was the night,
The helmed Cherubim, Wherein the Prince of light
And (worded Seraphim, His reign of peace upon the earth began :
Are seen in glittering ranks with wings disThe winds with wonder whist
65 Smoothly the waters kist,
With unexpreflive notes to Heaven's new-bora
Heir. While birds of calm fit brooding on the charmed
Such mulic (as 'tis said)
Before was never made, The stars with deep amaze
But when of old the sons of morning sung, Stand fix'd in stedfast gaze,
I 20 Bending one way their precious influence,
His constellations fer, And will not take their flight,
Arid the well-balanc'd world on hinges huog, For all the morning light,
And cast the dark foundations deep, Or Lucifer that often warn'd them thence;
And bid the weltering waves their oozy channel But in their glimmering orbs did glow, 75 Uotil their Lord himself befpake and bid chem go.
Ring out, ye crystal Spheres,
IS And though the shady gloom
Once bless our human ears, Had given day her room,
(If ye have power to touch our senses fo) The sun himself withheld his wonted speed, And let your silver chime And bid his head for shame,
80 Move in melodious time, As his inferior flame
And let the base of Heaven's deep organ blow, The new inlighten'dworld no more should need; | And with your ninefold harmony
131 He saw a greater sun appear
Make up full confort to th' angelic symphony. Than his bright throne, or burning axletree, could bear.
For if such holy song
Inwrap our fancy long, The shepherds on the lawn,
Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold, Or o'er the point of dawn,
And speckled Vanity
136 Sat simply chatting in a rustic row;
Will ficken foon and die, Full little thought they then,
And leprous Sin will melt from carthly mold, That the mighty Pan
And Hell itself will pass a way, Was kindly come to live with them below; 90
And leave her dolorous manfions to the peering Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep,
140 Was all that did their filly thoughts fo busy keep.
Yea Truth and Justice chen When such music sweet
Will down return to men, Their hearts and ears did greet,
Orb’d in a rainbow; and like glories wearing As never was by mortal finger strook, 95
Mercy will fit hetween, Divincly-warbled voice
Thron'd in celestial fheen,
145 Anfwering the stringed noise,
With radiant fcet the tissued clouds down As all their souls in blissful rapture took :
steering, The air, such pleasure loch to lose,
And Heav’n, as at some festival, With thousand echoes still prolongs each heav'nly Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall. clofe.
But wiseft Fate says no, Nature that heard such sound
This must not yet be fo,
ISO Beneath the hollow round
The babe lies yet in smiling infancy, of Cynthia's seat, the aery region thrilling, That on the bitter cross Now was almost won
Must redeemn our loss; Tu think her part was done,
105 So both himself and us to glorify; And that her reign had here its last fulfilling; Yet first to those ychain'd in fiecp,
155 She knew such harmony alone
The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through Could hold all Heay'n and Earth iu happier union.
At last surrounds their sight
With such a horrid clang
While the red fire and smouldering clouds out-
And sullen Moloch fled,
Hath left in shadows dread
His burning idol all of blackest hae;
In vain with cymbals' ring When at the world's last feffion,
They call the grilly king, The dreadful Judge in middle air fhall spread his
In dismal dance about the furnace blue;
The brutish Gods of Nile as fast,
Ilis and Orus, and the dog Anubis, halte.
Nor is Ofiris seen
Trampling the unshower'd grass with lowings lo straiter limits bound,
21; Not half so far casts his usurped (way, 170
Nor can he be at reft And wroth co see his kingdom fail,
Within his sacred chest, Swindges the scaly horror of his folded tail.
Nought but profoundest Hell can be his shrood; In vain with timbrei'd anthems dark
The fable-Itoled sorcerers bear his worshipt ark. The oracles are dumb, No voice or hideous hum Runs through the arched roof in words deceiv. He feels from Juda's land ing.
175 | The dreaded Infant's hand, Apollo from his shrine
The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn; Can no more divine,
Nor all the Gods beside
Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine : No nightly trance, or breathed spell,
Our babe, to shew his Godhead true, Inspires the pale-ey'd prieit from the prophetic Can in his swadling-bands controll the damned cell.
The lonely mountains o'er,
So when the fun in bed,
Curtain'd with cloudy red,
The flocking shadows pale
185 | Troop to the infernal jail, The parting Genius is with lighing sent;
Each fetter'd ghost flips to his several grare, With flower-inwoven treffes torn
And the yellow-skirted Fayes The Nymphs in twilight shade of tangled chickets Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moos
lov'd maze. XXI. In confecrated earth,
Bat see the Virgin bleft And on the holy hearth,
199 | Hath laid her Babe to rest, The Lars and Lemures moan with midnight Time is our tedious long should bere have en so plaint;
ing: In urns, and altars round,
Heaven's youngest teemed star
Hath fix'd her polish'd car,
Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp atten:: And the chill marble seems to sweat,
ing: While each peculiar Power furgoes his wonted And all about the courtly stable feat.
Bright-harnett Angels fit in order serviceable. XXII. Peor and Baälim Forsake their temples dim, With that twice batter'd God of Palestine;
THE PASSION. And mooned Ashtaroth,
200 Heav'n's queen and mother both, Now lits pot girt with tapers' holy shine;
Er , The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn,
Wherewith the stage of air and earth 2: In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Tham.
ring, muz mourn.
And joyous news of heav'nly Infant's birth,