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Yet can I not persuade me thou art dead,
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 the Elysian Fields, (if such were there;) Oh say me true, if thou wert mortal wight,
And why from us so quickly thou didst take thy
Wert thou some star which from the ruin’d roof
Or wert thou that just maid, who once before
Forsook the hated Earth, O tell mesooth,
And cam'stagain to visit us once more ?
Or wert thou that sweet-smiling youth
Or that crown'd matrons,age white-robed Truth? Or any other of that heavenly brood
Let down in cloudy throne to do the world some
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
But oh! why didst thou not stay here below
Then thou, the mother of so sweet a child,
Her false-imagin'd loss cease to lament,
Think what a present thou to God hast sent,
And render him with patience what he lent;
That, till the world's last end, shall make thy
name to live.
Tly, envious Time, till thou run out thy race;
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain
For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb'd,
Burst pair of Sirens, pledges of Heaven's joy, Sphere-born harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse, Wed your divine sounds, and mix'd poweremploy Dead things withinbreath'd sense abletopierce; And to our high-rais'd phantasy present That undisturbed song of pure consent, Aye sung before the saphire-colour'd throne To him that sits thereon, With saintly shout, and solemn jubilee; Where the bright Seraphim, in burning row, 10 Their loud up-lifted angel-trumpets blow; And the cherubic host, in thousand quires, Touch their immortal harps of golden wires, With those just spirits that wear victorious palms, Hymns devout and holy psalms Singing everlastingly: That we on Earth, with undiscording voice, May rightly answer that melodious noise; As once we did, till disproportion'd Sin Jarl'd against Nature's chime, and with harsh din Broke the fair music that all creatures made To their great Lord, whose love their motion In perfect diapason, whilst they stood [sway’d In first obedience, and their state of good. O, may we soon again renew that song, And keep in tune with Heaven, till God ere long To his celestial consort us unite, To live with him, and sing in endless morn of light !
MARCHIONESS OF JVINCHESTER 1.
This rich marble doth inter
'She was the wife of John marquis of winchester, a conspicuous loyalist in the reign of king Charles the first, whose magnificent house or castle of Basing in Hampshire withstood an obstinate siege of two years against the rebels, and when taken was levelled to the ground, be. cause in every window was flourished. Ayme: Loyaute.
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 had no strife In giving limit to her life. Her high birth, and her graces sweet, 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 one both fruit and tree : The hapless babe, before his birth, Had burial, yet not laid in earth; And the languish'd mother's womb Was not long a living tomb. So have I seen some tender slip, Sav'd with care from Winter's nip, The pride of her carnation train, Pluck'd up by some unheedy swain, Who only thought to crop the flower New shot up from vernal shower; 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, Which the sad Morm had let fall On her”hastening funeral. Gentle lady, may thy grave Peace and quiet ever have ; After this thy travel sore Sweet rest seize thee evermore, That, to give the world increase, Shorten’d hast thy own life's lease. Here, beside the sorrowing That thy noble house doth bring, Here be tears of perfect moan Wept for thee in Helicon ; And some flowers, and some bays, For thy herse, to strew the ways, Sent thee from the banks of Came, Devoted to thy virtuous name; whilst thou, bright saint, high sitst in glory, Next her, much like to thee in story, That fair Syrian shepherdess, Who, after years of barrenness. The highly favour'd Joseph bore To him that serv'd for her before, And at her next birth, much like thee, Through pangs fled to felicity, Far within the bosom bright of blazing Majesty and Light: There with thee, new welcome saint, Like fortunes may her soul acquaint, With thee there clad in radiant sheen, No marchioness, but now a queen.
SONG on MAF MORNINC.
Now the bright Morning-star, Day's harbinger,
ORIGINAL VARiots Readings of the Ode ATA SoleMN Music.
There are three draughts or copies of this song: all in Milton's own hand-writing. There occur some remarkable expressions in these various readings which Doctor Newton and Mr. Warton have not noticed. Ver. 3. Mire your choice words, and happiest sounds employ, Dead things with inbreath'd sense able to pierce; And as your equal raptures, temper'd street, In high mysterious spousall meet; Snatch us from Earth awhile, Us of ourselves and native woe beguile: And to our high-rays'd phantasie present That undisturbed song, &c. Here, in the first draught, it is “And whilst your equal raptures;” in the second, whilst is erased, and as written over it. In the second draught also, the next line was In high mysterious holiespousall meet; but holie is expunged, and happie supplied in the margin; and, in the last of these original lines, “ native woes” was originally “ home-bred woes.” Ver, 10. Where the bright Seraphim in tripled row. Ver, 12. And Cheruhim, sweet-winged squires, Then called Heaven's henshmen, which means the same; henshman, or henchman, signifying a page of honour. See Minsheu, and also Mids. .V. Dr. A. ii. S. ii. “I do but beg a little changeling boy To be my henchman.” The Queen of Fairies is the speaker. Milton's curious expressions are in the first draught. Ver. 14. With those just spirits that wear the blooming palms, Hymns devout and sacred psalmes Singing everlastingly; While all the starry rounds and arches blue Resound and echo hallelu : That we on Earth, &c. Ver. 18. May rightly answere that melodious
noise, By leaving out those harsh ill sounding .7 rres Of clamorous sin that all our music rota res
l)idst move my first endeavouring tongue to
And from thy wardrobe bring thy chiefest trea
sure, Not those new-fangled toys, and trimming slight Which takes our late fantastics with delight; But cull those richestrobes, and gay'st attire, Which deepest spirits and choicest wits desire: I have some naked thoughts that rove about, And loudly knock to have their passage out; And, weary of their place, do only stay, Till thou hast deck'd them in thy best array; That so they may, without suspect or fears, TIy swiftly to this fair assembly's ears; Yet I had rather, if I were to chuse, Thy service in some graver subject use, such as may make thee search thy coffers round,
And misty regions of wide air next under,
Then Ens is represented as father of the Predicaments his two sons, whereof the eldest stood for Substance with his canons, which Ens, thus speaking, explains,
Good luck befriend thee, son; for, at thy birth,
The nert Quantity and 2wality stake in prose; then Relation was called by his name.
Rivers, arise; whether thou be the son
What needs my Shakspeare, for his honour’d The labour of an age in piled stones? some Or that his halkow'd reliques should be hi Under a star-ypointing pyramid 2 Dear son of memory, great heir of fame, 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 the shame of slow-endeavouring art, Thy easy numbers flow; and that each heart Hath, 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 sepúlcher'd, in such pomp dost lie, That kings, for such a tomb, would wish to die.
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; Or else the ways being foul, twenty to one, He's here stuck in a slough, and overthrown. 'Twas such a shifter, that, if truth were known, Death was half glad when he had got him down; For he had, any time this ten years full, Dodg’d with him betwixt Cambridge and The will. And surely Death could never have prevail'd, Had not his weekly course of carriage fail'd; But lately finding him so long at home, . And thinking now his journey's end was come, And that he had ta'en up his latest inn, In the kind office of a chamberlin Show'd him his room where he must lodge that
night, Pull'd off his boots, and took away the light: If any ask for him, it shall be sed, “Hobson has supt, and’s newly gone to bed.”
So hung his destiny, never to rot While he might still jog on and keep his trot, Made of sphere-metal, never to decay Until his revolution was at stay. Time numbers motion, yet (without a crime 'Gainst old truth) motion number'd out his time t And, like an engine, mov’d with wheel and weight His principles being ceas'd, he ended straight. Rest, that gives all men life, gave him his death, And too much breathing put him out of breath; Nor were it contradiction to affirm, Too long vacation hasten’d on his term. Merely to drive the time away he sicken'd, Fainted, and died, nor would with ale be quicken'd; [stretch'd, “Nay,” quoth he, on his swooning bed out“If I mayn't carry, sure I'll ne'er be fetch'd, But vow, though the cross doctors all stood hearers, For one carrier put down to make six bearers.” Ease was his chief disease ; and, to judge right, He died for heaviness that his cart went light: His leisure told him that his time was come, And lack of load made his life burdensome, That even to his last breath, (there be that say’t) As he were press'd to death, he cried, “More weight;" But, had his doings lasted as they were, He had been an immortal carrier. Obedient to the Moon he cpent his date In course reciprocal, and had his fate Link'd to the mutual flowing of the seas, Yet (strange to think) his wain was his increase t His letters are deliver'd all and gone, Only remains this superscription,
And kings be born of thee, whose dreadful might Shall awe the world, and conquer nations bold."
Ah Constantine, of how much ill was cause, Not thy conversion, but those rich domains That the first wealthy pope receiv'd of thee”.
Founded in chaste and humble poverty,
Then pass'd he to a flowery mountain green,
Whom do we count a good man 2 Whom but he
This is true liberty, when freeborn men,
Laughing, to teach the truth 2 What hinders? As some teachers give to boys Junkets and knacks, that they may learn apace.
. From Milton's Hist. Fngl. Pr. W. vol. i. p. 7. edit. 1698. These fragments of translation were collected from Milton's Prose-Works. * From Of Reformation in England. Pr. W. vol. i. p. 10. * From Of Reformation, &c. Pr. W. vol. i. . 1 (). p * From Of Reformation, &c. Pr. W. vol. i. ... 10. p * From Tetrachordon, Pr. W. vol. i. 230. * Milton's Motto to his Areopagiica, A speech for the liberty of unlincensed Printing, &c. Prose W. vol. i. 141. 7 Sat. i. i. 24. * From Apol. Smectymn. Pr. W. vol. i. 116.