Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Sonnets.

sure

TO THE NIGHTINGALE.

TO A VIRTUOUS YOUNG LADY. O NIGHTINGALE, that on yon bloomy spray Lady, that in the prime of earliest youth

Warblest at eve, when all the woods are still; Wisely hast shunned the broadway and the Thou with fresh hope the lover's heart dost fill,

green, While the jolly hours lead on propitious May, And with those few art eminently seen, Thy liquid notes that close the eye of day, That labour up the hill of heavenly truth,

First heard before the shallow cuckoo's bill, The better part with Mary and with Ruth Portend success in love; O if Jove's will Chosen thou hast; and they that overween,

Have linked that amorous power to thy soft lay, And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen, Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate

No anger find in thee, but piety and ruth. Foretell my hopeless doom in some grove nigh; Thy care is fixed, and zealously attends

As thou from year to year hast sung too late To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light, For my relief, yet had'st no reason why:

And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be Whether the Muse, or Love call thee his mate, Both them I serve, and of their train am I. Thou, when the bridegroom with his feastful

friends

Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night, ON HIS BEING ARRIVED TO THE

Hast gained thy entrance, virgin wise and pure. AGE OF TWENTY-THREE. How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth, Stolen on his wing my three-and-twentieth year!

TO THE LADY MARGARET LEY. My hasting days fly on with full career,

But my late spring no bud nor blossom showeth. DAUGHTER to that good earl, once president Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth, Of England's council and her treasury, That I to manhood am arrived so near;

Who lived in both, unstained with gold or fee, And inward ripeness doth much less appear, And left them both, more in himself content,

That some more timely happy spirits indueth. Till sad the breaking of that Parliament Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,

Broke him, as that dishonest victory It shall be still in strictest measure even

At Chæronea, fatal to liberty, To that same lot, however mean or high, Killed with report that old man eloquent. Toward which time leads me, and the will of Though later born than to have known the days Heaven;

Wherein your father flouished, yet by you, All is, if I have grace to use it so,

Madam, methinks I see him living yet; As ever in my great Taskmaker's eye. So well your words his noble virtues praise,

That all both judge you to relate them true,

And to possess them, honoured Margaret. WHEN THE ASSAULT WAS INTEND

ED TO THE CITY. CAPTAIN, or colonel, or knight in arms,

ON THE DETRACTION WHICH FOLWhose chance on these defenceless doors may

LOWED UPON MY WRITING CER

TAIN TREATISES. seize, If deed of honour did thee ever please, A BOOK was writ of late called Tetrachordon, Guard them, and him within protect from And woven close, both matter, form, and style: harms.

The subject new: it walked the town a while, He can requite thee; for he knows the charms

Numbering good intellects; now seldom pored That call fame on such gentle acts as these, And he can spread thy name o'er lands and Cries the stall-reader, Bless us! what a word on seas,

A title page is this! and some in file Whatever clime the sun's bright circle warms. Stand spelling false, while one might walk to Lift not thy spear against the Muses' bower:

MileThe great Emathian conqueror bid spare End Green. Why is it harder, Sirs, than GorThe house of Pindarus, when temple and tower

don, Went to the ground: and the repeated air Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp? Of sad Electra's poet had the power

Those rugged names to our like mouths grow To save the Athenian walls from ruin bare.

sleek,

on.

ON THE PUBLISHING HIS AIRS.

That would have made Quintilian stare and But, as Faith pointed with her golden rod, gasp.

Followed them up to joy and bliss for ever.
Thy age, like ours, O soul of Sir John Cheek, Love led them on, and Faith, who knew them best.

Hated not learning worse than toad or asp, Thy handmaids, clad them o'er with purple
When thou taught'st Cambridge, and King beam
Edward Greek.

And azure wings, that up they flew so drest,
And spake the truth of thee on glorious themes

Before the Judge; who thenceforth bid thee rest, ON THE SAME.

And drink thy fill of pure immortal streams. I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs

By the known rules of ancient liberty,
When straight a barbarous nolse environs me TO THE LORD GENERAL FAIRFAX.

Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes, and dogs:
As when those hinds that were transformed to frogs Fairfax, whose name in arms through Europe
Railed at Latona's twin-born progeny,

rings, Which after held the sun and moon in fee. Filling each mouth with envy or with praise, But this is got by casting pearl to hogs;

And all her jealous monarchs with amaze
That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood, And rumours loud, that daunt remotest kings;

And still revolt when truth would set them free. Thy firm unshaken virtue ever brings
License they mean when they cry liberty; Victory home, though new rebellions raise
For who loves that, must first be wise and good; Their hydra heads, and the false north displays
But from that mark how far they rove we see,

Her broken league to imp their serpent wings. For all this waste of wealth, and loss of blood. O yet a nobler task awaits thy hand,

(For what can war, but endless war still breed ?)

Till truth and right from violence be freed,

And public faith cleared from the shameful brand TO MR. H. LAWES,

Of public fraud. In vain doth valour bleed,

While avarice and rapine share the land.
Harry, whose tu neful and well measured song

First taught our English music how to span
Words with just note and accent not to scan
With Midas' ears, committing short and long;

TO THE LORD GENERAL CROMThy worth and skill exempts thee from the throng,

WELL.
With praise enough for envy to look wan;
To after age thou shalt be writ the man,

CROMWELL, our chief of men, who through a cloud, That with smooth air could'st humour best our

Not of war only, but detractions rude,

Guided by faith and matchless fortitude, tongue.

To peace and truth thy glorious way hast Thou honour'st verse, and verse must lend her

plonghed, wing To honour thee the priest of Phæbus' choir,

And on the neck of crowned Fortune proud

Hast reared God's trophies, and his work purThat tun'st their happiest lines in hymn, or

sued, story.

While Darwen stream, with bluod of Scots imDante shall give Fame leave to set thee higher

brued, Than his Casella, whom he wooed to sing

And Dunbar field, resounds thy praises loud, Met in the milder shades of purgatory.

And Worcester's laureat wreath. Yet much re

mains

To conquer still; peace hath her victories ON THE RELIGIOUS MEMORY No less renowned than war: new foes arise OF MRS. CATHARINE THOMSON, MY CHRISTIAN Threatening to bind our souls with secular chains:

FRIEND, DECEASED 16th DECEMBER, 1646. Help us to save free conscience from the paw When faith and love, which parted from thee

Of hireling wolves, whose Gospel is their maw. never, Had ripened thy just soul to dwell with God, Meekly thou did'st resign the earthy load

TO SIR HENRY VANE, Of death, called life; which us from life doth Thy works, and alms, and all thy good endeavour Vane, young in years, but in sage counsel old, Stayed not behind, nor in the grave were trod; Than whom a better senator ne'er held

THE YOUNGER.

sever.

The helm of Rome, when gowns, not arms re

TO MR. LAWRENCE.
pelled
The fierce Epirot and the African bold; LAWRENCE, of virtuous father, virtuous son,
Whether to settle peace or to unfold

Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire, The drift of hollow states hard to be spelled; Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire Then to advise how war may, best upheld, Help waste a sullen day, what may be won

Move by her two main nerves, iron and gold, From the hard season gaining? Time will run In all her equipage: besides to know

On smoother, till Favonius reinspire Both spiritual power and civil, what each means, The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire What severs each, thou hast learned, which few The lily and rose, that neither sowed nor spun. have done;

What neat repast shall feast us; light and choice, The bounds of either sword to thee we owe:

Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise Therefore on thy firm hand Religion leans

To hear the lute well touched or artful voice In peace, and reckons thee her eldest son. Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air ?

He who of those delights can judge, and spare
To interpose them oft, is not unwise.

moans

SOW

ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIE-
MONT.

TO CYRIAC SKINNER. AVENGE, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints, whose Cyriac, whose grandsire, on the royal bench bones

Of British Themis, with no mean applause Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold; Pronounced, and in his volumes taught, our laws, Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old, Which others at their bar so often wrench; When all our fathers worshipped stocks and To-day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench stones,

In mirth, that, after, no repenting draws; Forget not: in thy book record their groans Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause, Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold

And what the Swede intends, and what the Slain by the bloody Piemontese that rolled

French Mother with infant down the rocks. Their To measure life learn thou betimes, and know

Toward solid good what leads the nearest way; The vales redoubled to the hills, and they

For other things mild Heaven a time ordains, To Heaven. Their martyred blood and ashes And disapproves that care, though wise in show,

That with superfluous burden loads the day O'er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains. The triple tyrant; that from these may grow

A hundred fold, who, having learned thy way,
Early may fly the Babylonian wo.

ON HIS DECEASED WIFE.
METHOUGHT I saw my late espoused saint

Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave,
ON HIS BLINDNESS.

Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave, When I consider how my life is spent

Rescued from death by force, tho' pale and faint.

Mine, as whom wash'd from spot of child bed taint Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,

Purification in the old Law did save, And that one talent which is death to hide,

And such, as yet once more I trust to have Lodged with me useless, though my soul more

Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint, bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present

Came vested all in white, pure as her mind : My true account, lest he returning, chide;

Her face was veil’d; yet to my fancied sight Doth God exact day-labour, light denied ?

Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd I fondly ask: But patience, to prevent

So clear, as in no face with more delight:

But 0! as to embrace me she inclin'd,
That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need
Either man's work, or his own gifts; who best

I wak’d; she fled; and day brought back my night. Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best; his state

This sonnet was written about the year 1656, on the death Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,

of his second wise, Catharine, the daughter of Captain Wood

cock, of Hackney, a rigid sectarist. She died in child-bed of And post o'er land and occan without rest;

a daughter, within a year after their marriage. Milton had They also serve who only stand and wait. now been long totally blind.

TO CYRIAC SKINNER.
CYRIAC, these three years'day these eyes, tho'clear,

To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Bereft of light their seeing have forgot;

Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear
Of sun, or moon, or star, throughout the year,

Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not
Against Heaven'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, to have lost them over-

plied
In liberty's defence, my noble task,
Of which all Europe rings from side to side.
This thought might lead me through the worlds

vain mask
Content though blind, had I no better guide.

Translations.

FROM DANTE.

FROM DANTE,

THE FIFTH ODE OF HORACE, LIB. I.
What slender youth, bedew'd with liquid odours, An, Constantine, of how much ill was cause,
Courts thee on roses in some pleasant cave, Not thy conversion, but those rich domains
Pyrrha ? For whom bind'st thou

That the first wealthy pope receiv'd of thee.
In wreaths thy golden hair,
Plain in thy neatness? O, how oft shall he
On faith and changed gods complain, and seas Founded in chaste and humble poverty,

Rough with black winds and storms Gainst them that rais'd thee dost thou lift thy horn,
Unwonted shall admire!

Impudent whore, where hast thou plac'd thy hope? Who now enjoys thee credulous, all gold, In thy adulterers, or thy ill-got wealth ? Who always vacant, always amiable

Another Constantine comes not in haste. Hopes thee, of flattering gales

Unmindful. Hapless they To whom thou untried seem'st fair! Me, in my vow'd Then pass'd he to a flowery mountain green, Picture, the sacred wall declares to have hung Which once smelt sweet, now stinks as odiously: My dank and dropping weeds

This was the gift, if you the truth will have, To the stern god of sea.

That Constantine to good Sylvester gave.

FROM ARIOSTO.

FROM HORACE.

FROM GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH.* Brutus thus addresses Diana in the country of WHOM do we count a good man? Whom but he LEOGECIA.

Who keeps the laws and statutes of the senate,

Who judges in great suits and controversies, Goddess of shades, and huntress, who at will Whose witness and opinion wins the cause ? Walk'ston the rolling spheres,and through the deep; But his own house, and the whole neighbourhood, On thy third reign, the earth, look now, and tell Sees his foul inside through his whited skin. What land, what seat of rest, thou bid'st me seek;

FROM EURIPIDES.
What certain seat, where I may worship thee
For

aye, with temples vow'd and virgin quires. This is true liberty, when freeborn men, To whom, sleeping before the altar, Diana an

Having to advise the public, may speak free;

Which he who can, and will, deserves high praiso , swers in a rision, the same night.

Who neither can, nor will, may hold his peace; BRUTCs, far to the west, in the ocean wide, What can be juster in a state than this ? Beyond the realm of Gaul, a land there lies, Sea-girt it lies, where giants dwelt of old;

FROM HORACE. Now void, it fits thy people: thither bend

-Laughing to teach the truth, Thy course; there shalt thou find a lasting seat; What hinders ? As some teachers give to boys There to thy sons another Troy shall rise, Junkets and knacks, that they may learn apace. And kings be born of thee, whose dreadful might Shall awe the world, and conquer nations bold.

-Joking decides great things, * Hist. Brit. I. xi. “Diva potens nemorum," &c.

Stronger and better oft than earnest can.

FROM HORACE.

FROM SENECA.

FROM SOPHOCLES,

Be taught, ye judges of the earth; with fear

Jehovah serve, and let your joy converse 'T18 you that say it, not I. You do the deeds,

With trembling; kiss the Son, lest he appear And your ungodly deeds find me the words.

In anger and ye perish in the way,

If once his wrath take fire, like fuel sere,

Happy all those who have in him their stay. There can be slain No sacrifice to God more acceptable,

PSALM III. Aug. 9, 1653.
Than an unjust and wicked king.

When he fled from Absalom.
PSALM I.

Lord, how many are my foes!

How many those,
Done into verse, 1653

That in arms against me rise.
Blessed is the man who hath not walked astray

Many are they,
In counsel of the wicked, and i' the way

That of my life distrustfully thus say;
Of sinners hath not stood, and in the seat No help for him in God there lies.
Of scorners hath not sat: but in the great

But thou, Lord, art my shield, my glory
Jehovah's law is ever his delight,

Thee, through my story, And in his law he studies day and night.

The exalter of my head I count He shall be as a tree which planted grows

Aloud I cried By watery streams, and in his season knows

Unto Jehovah, he full soon replied,
To yield his fruit, and his leaf shall not fall,

And heard me from his holy mount.
And what he takes in hand shall prosper all.
Not so the wicked, but as chaff which fann'd I lay and slept; I waked again;
The wind drives, so the wicked shall not stand

For my sustain
In judgment, or abide their trial then,

Was the Lord. Of many millions Nor sinners in the assembly of just men.

The populous rout For the Lord knows the upright way of the just, I fear not, though, encamping round about, And the way of bad men to ruin must.

They pitch against me their pavilions.

Rise, Lord; save me, my God; for thou
PSALM II.

Hast smote, ere now
Done Aug. 8, 1653. Terzetti.

On the cheek-bone all my foes,

Of men abhorred Why do the Gentiles tumult, and the Nations

Hast broke the teeth. This help was from the Muse a vain thing, the kings of the earth upstand Lord;

With power, and princes in their congregations Thy blessing on thy people flows.
Lay deep their plots together through each land
Against the Lord and his Messiah dear?

PSALM IV. Aug. 10, 1653.
Let us break off, say they, by strength of hand
Their bonds, and cast from us, no more to wear, ANSWER me when I call,
Their twisted cords: He, who in heaven doth God of my righteousness;
dwell,

In straits and in distress, Shall laugh; the Lord shall scoff them; then, Thou didst me disenthrall severe,

And set at large; now spare, Speak to them in his wrath, and in his fell

Now pity me,

and hear my earnest prayer. And fierce ire trouble them; but I, saith he, Great ones, how long will ye

Anointed have my King (though ye rebel) My glory have in scorn ? On Sion my holy hill. A firm decree

How long be thus forborne I will declare: The Lord to me hath said, Still to love vanity ?

Thou art my Son, I have begotten thee To love, to seek, to prize,
This day; ask of me, and the grant is made; Things false and vain, and nothing else but lies ?
As thy possession I on thee bestow

Yet know the Lord hath chose,
The heathen; and, as thy conquest to be sway'd, Chose to himself apart,
Earth's utmost bounds: them shalt thou bring full The good and meek of heart;
low

(For whom to choose he knows)
With iron sceptre bruised, and them disperse Jehovah from on high
Like to a potter's vessel shivered so.

Will hear my voice, what time to him I cry. And now be wise at length, ye kings averse, Be awed, and do not sin;

« AnteriorContinuar »