« AnteriorContinuar »
From the hard season gaining? Time will run | Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask? On smoother, till Pavonius re-inspire
1 The conscience, friend, to have lost them The frozen Earth, and clothe in fresh attire
overplied The lily and rose, that neither sow'd nor spun. | In liberty's defence, my noble task, What neat repart shall feast us, light and choice, | Of which all Europe rings from side to side. Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may This thought might lead me through the rise
world's vajo mask To hear the lute well touch'd, or artful voice Content though blind, had I no better guide. Varble immortal notes and 'Tuscan air? He who of those delights can judge, and spare
ON HIS DECEASED WIFE.
METHOUGHT I saw my late espoused saint
Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave, TO CYRIACK SKINNER'.
Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave,
faint. CYRIACK, whose grandsire, on the royal bench Rescu'd from death by force, though pale and
Of British Themis, with no mean applause Mine, as whom wash'd from spot of child-bed Pronounc'd, and in his volumes taught, our
Purification in the old Law did save, Which others at their bar so often wrench; And such, as yet once more I trust to have To day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,
In mirth that, after, no repenting draws; Came vested all in white, pure as her mind: · Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause,
Her face was veil'd; yet to my fancied sight And what the Swede intends, and what the Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd * French.
So clear, as in no face with more delight. To measure life learn thou betimes, and know But (), as to embrace me she inclin'd, Toward solid good what leads the nearest I wak'd; she fied; and day brought back my way;
nigbt. For other things mild Heaven a time ordains, And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
That with superfluous burden loads the day,
FROM THE CAMBRIDGE MS.
Title. « On his dore when the Citty expected an Cyriack, this three years day these eyes, though assault.” Then, as at present; with an addition clear
of the date 1642, afterwards expunged. , To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Ver. 3. If ever deed of honour did thee please. Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot ; As in the edit. 1645. The present reading oc
Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear curs first in the edit. 1673. Of Sun, or Moon, or star, throughout the year, This sonnet is written in a female hand. Only Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not
| the title, now prefix'd to it, is written by Milton. Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot Of heart or hope ; but still bear up and steer
Soxx. ix. liament which began in 1653, and was active in Title. “To a Lady." settling the protectorate of Cromwell. In con. Ver. 7. And at thy blooming certue fret their sequence of his services, he was made president
spleen. of Cromwell's council; where he appears to have Ver. 13. Opens the dore of blisse that hour of signed many severe and arbitrary decrees, not
night, only against the royalists, but the Brownists, | All in Milton's own hand-writing. fifth-monarchy men, and other sectarists. He continued high in favour with Richard CromweH.
SONN. X. Henry Lawrence, the virtuous son, is the author of a work entitled Of our Communion and
Title, as printed in this edition. Warre with Angels, &c. Printed Anno Dom. 1646. 4°, 189 pages.
SONN, xi. The dedication is “To my Most deare and Most honoured Mother, the Title, as printed in this edition. lady Lawrence.” He is perhaps the same Ver. 1. I writt a book of late call'd Tetra. Henry Lawrence, who printed A Vindication
chordon, of the Scriptures and Christian Ordinances,
And weav'd it close, both matter,form, 1649. Lond. 40.
and style: Son of William Skinner, esq. and grandson of
It went off well about the town awhile, sir Vincent Skinner ; and his mother was Bridget,
Numbering good wils, but now io sebe one of the daughters of the famous sir Edward
dom por'd op. Coke, lord elief justice of the King's Beneh. Ver. 10, Those barburous names.
Then rough-hewn, and lastly rugged. All in From ver. 1. to ver. 8, as now printed.
Ver. 9. And twenty battles more.
So it was at first written, afterwards corrected to Sony. xii.
the present reading, Worcester's laureat wreath. Ver. 4. Of owls and buzzards.
Ver. 11, & 12, as now printed. This sonnet Ver. 10. And hate the truth whereby they should | is in a female hand, unlike that in which the 8th be free.
sonnet is written. All in Milton's own band.
Ver. 1. As now printed. Title. “ To my friend Mr. Hen. Lawes, Seb. Ver. 2. And to advise how war may, best up. 9. 1645. On the publishing of his
Move on her two main nerves. Ver. 3. Words with just notes, which till then So at first written, afterwards corrected to then us'd to scan,
and by. With Midas' eares, misjoining short Ver. 10. What power the church and what the and long.
civill means, In the first of these lines “When most were wont to
Thou teachest best, which few have scan" had also been written.
ever done. Ver. 6. And gives thee praise above the pipe of Afterwards thus, Pan.
Both spiritual power and civill, what To after age thou shalt be writ a nian,
each means, Thou didst reform thy art the chief |
Thou hast learn'd well, a praise which among.
few have won. Thou honourst vers, &c.
Lastly, as now printed. Ver. 12. Fame, by the Tuscan's leav, shall set Ver. 13. — thy right hand. thee higher
Afterwards altered to firm hand. And WarbuirThan old Casell, whom Dante woo'd to ton has said it should have been altered further sing.
to “ firm arm." There are three copies of this sonnet; two in This sonnet is also in a female hand, unlike Milton's hand; the third in another, a man's either of the two last. hand. Milton, as Mr. Warton observes, had an Sonnets xviii, xix, xx, do not appear in the amanuensis on account of the failure of his eyes. | manuscript. Sonn. xiv.
The four first lines are wanting.
Ver. 8. As now printed.
In the hand of a fourth woman, as it seems, den doth sever. Ver. 6. Strait follow'd thee the path, that saints
* Ver. 3. to ver. 5, as now printed.
Afterwards altered to Heaven's hand.
but still attend w steer
Up hillward. Faith show'd the way, and she who saw So at first written, afterwards altered to the prethem best
sent reading. Thy hand-maids, &c.
Ver. 12. Of which all Europe talks from side Here also the line had been written,
This sonnet is written in the same female hand Ver. 12. And spoke the truth.
as the last. There are two copies of this sonnet (one corrected) in Milton's hand; and a third in another, a
SONN. xxji. man's hand.
No variations, except in the speNing. This is
in a fifth female hand; beautifully written; imiSony. XV.
tating also Milton's manner of beginning most of Title. “ On the &c. At the siege of Colchester,” the lines with small initial letters; which is not
From ver. 2. to ver. 13, as now printed. See the case with the other female hands. the variations of the printed copies before doctor Newton's edition, in the notes on the sonnet.
APPENDIX TO THE SONNETS. Sonn. xyi. Title. « To the lord general Cromwell, May 1652. On the Proposalls of certaine ministers at the committee for propagation of the gospell." Af- | Dr. Birch, in his LIFE OF MILTON, bas printed a .. terwards blotted out.
sonnet, said to be written by Miltonin 1665, wben 6
he retired to Chalfont in Buckinghamshire on ac-i Then, laughing, they repeat my languid laysa count of the plague; and to have been seen in- “Nymphs of thy native clime, perhaps,”— scribed on the glass of a window in that place.
they cry, · I have seen a copy of it written, apparently in a “For whom thou hast a tongue, may feel thy coeval hand, at the end of Tonson's edition of
praise; Milton's Smaller Poems in 1713, where it is also But we must understand ere we comply !" said to be Milton's. It is re-printed from Dr. Birci's Life of the poet, in Fawkes and Woty's Do thou, my soul's soft hope, these triflers awe; Poetical Calendar, 1763, vol. viii. p. 67. But, I Tell them, 'tis nothing, how, or what, I writ! in this sumuet, there is a scriptural mistake; Since love from silent looks can language draw, which, as Mr. Warton has observed, Milton was And scorns the lame impertinence of wit. not likely to commit. For the Sonnet improperly represents David as punished by pestilence for his adultery with Bathsheba. Mr. Warton,
ODES. however, adds, that Dr. Birch had been informed by Vertue the engraver, that he had seen a satirical medal, struck upon Charles the Second,
ON THE MORNING OF abroad, without any legend, having a correspondent device.--This sonnet, I should add, va
CHRIST'S NATIVITY, . ries from the construction of the legitimate son
This is the month, and this the happy mort',
T.. net, in consisting of only ten lines, instead of
Wherein the Son of Heaven's Eternal king, fourteen.
Of wedded maid and virgin mother born,
Our great redemption from above did bring; Pair mirrour of foul times! whose fragile sheen' | For so the holy sages once did sing, Shall, as it blazeth, break; while Providence,
| That he our deadly forfeit sbould release, Aye watching o'er his saints with eye unseen, And with his father work us a perpetual peace. Spreads the red rod of angry pestilence,
To sweep the wicked and their counscls hence; | That glorious form, that light unsufferable, . Yea, all to break the pride of lustful kings,
| And that far-beaming blaze of majesty, [table Who Heaven's lore reject for brutish sense; | Wherewith he wont at Heaven's high council. As erst he scourg'd Jessides' sin of yore, To sit the midst of Irinal Unity, For the fair Hittite, when, on seraph's wings, He laid aside; and, here with us to be, He sent him war, or plague, or famine sore. Forsook the courts of everlasting day,
And chose with us a darksome house of mortal
Say, heavenly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein In the concluding note on the seventh Sonnet,
| Afford a present to the Infant-God? it has been observed that other Italian sonnets
Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain, and compositions of Milton, said to be remain
To welcome him to this his new abode, ing in manuscript at Florence, bad been sought
Now while the Heaven, by the Sun's team untrod, for in vain by Mr. Hollis. I think it may not be
Hath took no print of the approaching light, improper here to observe, that there is a tradh
And all the spangled host keep watch in squation of Milton having fallen in love with a young
drons bright? lady, when he was at Florence; and, as she understood no English, of having written some See, how from far, upon the eastern rcari, verses to her in Italian, of which the poem, sub- | The star-led wisards haste with odours sweet: joined to this remark, is said to be the sense. O run, prevent them with thy humble ode, It bas often been printed ; as in the Gentleman's Aud lay it lowly at his blessed feet; Magazine for 1760, p. 148; in Fawkes and Wo- Have thou the honour tirst thy Lord to greet, ty's Poetical Calendar, 1763, vol. viii. p. 68; in And join thy voice unto the angel-quire, the Annual Register for 1772, p. 219; and in From out his secret altar touch'd with hallos'd the third volume of Milton's poems in the Edi
fire. tion of the Poets, 1779. But to the original no reference is given, and even of the translator no mention is made, in any of those volumes. The
It was the winter wild,
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies; When, in your language, Iunskill'd address
Nature in awe to him,
With her great Master so to sympathize: And my mistaking passion thus accuse.
This ode, in which the many learned allu,“ Why, to our tongue's disgrace, does thy dumb sions are highly poetical, was probably composed love
as a college-exercise at Cambridge, our author Strive, in rough sound, soft meaning to impart: being now only twenty-one years old. In the • He must select his words who speaks to move, edition of 1645, in its title it is said to have been
And point his purpose at the hearer's heart," written in 1629.
. It was no season then for her
| When such music sweet .. To wanton with the Sun, her lusty paramour.
} Their hearts and ears did greet,
As never was by mortal finger strook ; Only with speeches fair
Answering the stringed noise,
The air, such pleasure loth to lose,
With thousand echoes still prolongs each heaThe saintly veil of maiden white to throw;
venly close. Confounded, that her Maker's eyes Should look so near upon her foul deformities.
Nature that heard such sound,
Beneath the hollow round But he, her fears to cease,
Of Cynthia's seat, the aery region thrilling, Sent down the meek-ey'd Peace;
Now was almost won
ring / And that her reign had here its last fulfilling; His ready harbinger,
She knew such harmony alone. With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing; Could hold ail Heaven and Earth in happier And, waving wide her myrtle wand,
union. She strikes an universal peace through sea and
At last surrounds their sight land.
A globe of circular light, No war, or battle's sound,
That with long beams the shamefac'd night Was beard the world around :
The helmed Cherubim,
And sworded Seraphim, The idle spear and shield were high up bung;
[play'd, The hooked chariot stood
Are seen in glittering ranks with wings dis
Harping in loud and solemn quire,
Such music (as 'tis said)
Before was never made, . But peaceful was the night,
Bụt when of old the sons of morning sung, Wherein the Prince of light
While the Creator great His reign of peace upon the Earth began:
His constellations set, The winds, with wonder wbist,
And the well-balanc'd world on hinges hung; . Smoothly the waters kist,
And cast the dark foundations deep, Whispering new joys to the mild ocean,
And bid the weltering waves their oozy channel Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
keep. While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed wave.
Ring out, ye crystal spheres,
Once bless our human ears, The stars, with deep amaze,
If ye have power to touch our senses so; Stand fix'd in stedfast gaze,
And let your silver chime Bending one way their precious influence ;
Move in melodious time; And will not take their flight,
And let the base of Heaven's deep organ blow; For all the morning light,
And, with your ninefold harmony, Or Lucifer that often warn'd them thence;
| Make up full consort to the angelic symphoy. But in their glimmering orbs did glow, Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them | For, if such holy song , go.
Enwrap our fancy long,
Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold, And, though the shady gloom
And speckled Vanity Had given day her room,
Will sicken soon and die, The Sun himself withheld his wonted speed,
And leprous Sin will melt from earthly mould; And hid his head for shame,
And Hell itself will pass away, As his inferior flame
And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering The new-enlighten'd world no more should need:
day. He saw a greater Sun appear Than his bright throne, or burning axletree, Yea, Truth and Justice then could bear.
Will down return to men,
Orb'd in a rainbow; and, like glories wearing, The shepherds on the lawn,
Mercy will sit between, Or e'er the point of dawn, "
Thron'd in celestial sheen, Sat simply chatting in a rustic row;
With radiant feet the tissued clouds down Full little thought they then,
| And Heaven, as at some festival, steering; That the mighty Pan
Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall. Was kindly come to live with them below; Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep,
But wisest Fate says no, Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep. This must not yet be so,
The babe yet lies in smiling infancy,
His burning idol all of blackest hae; That on the bitter cross
In vain with cymbals ring Must redeem our luss;
They call the grisly king, So both himself and us to glorify:
In dismal dance about the furnace blue : Yet first, to those ycbain'd in sleep,
The brutish gods of Nile as fast, The wakeful trump of doom must thunder Isis, and Orus, and the dog Apubis, haste. through the deep;
Nor is Osiris seen With such a horrid clang
In Mempbian grove or green, As on mount Sinai rang,
(brake: While the red fire and smouldering clouds out
Trampling the unshower'd grass with lowings
loud: The aged Earth aghast
Nor can he be at rest With terrour of that blast,
Within his sacred chest; Shall from the surface to the centre shake;
Nought but profoundest Hell can be his shroud; When, at the world's last session,
In vain with timbrell'd anthems dark The dreadful Judge in middle air shall spread his The sable-stoled sorcerers bear his worshipt arks throne.
He feels from Juda's land And then at last our bliss
The dreaded infant's band, Full and perfect is,
The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn; But now begins; for, from this happy day,
Nor all the gods beside The old Dragon, under ground
Longer dare abide, In straiter limits bound,
Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine: Not half so far casts his usurped sway;
Our babe, to show his Godhead true. And, wroth to see his kingdom fail,
Can in his swaddling bands controll the damned Swindges the scaly horrour of his folded tail.
crew. The oracles are dumb,
So, when the Sun in bed, No voice or hideous hum
Curtain'd with cloudy red, Runs through the arched roof in words deceiv
Pillows his chin upon an orient wate,
The flocking shadows pale Apollo from his shrine
Troop to the infernal jail, Can no more divine,
Each fetter'd ghost slips to his several grave; With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leav- |
And the yellow-skirted Bayes No nightly trance, or breathed spell, [ing.
| Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moonInspires the pale-ey'd priest from the prophetic
lov'd maze. cell,
But see, the Virgin blest
Hath laid her babe to rest;
Time is, our tedious song should here have
ending : From haunted spring and dale,
Heaven's youngest-teemed star
| Hath fix'd her polish'd car, With flower-inwoven tresses torn
Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp atThe nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets
And all about the courtly stable (tending:
Bright-harness'd angels sit in ord er serviceable. mourn.
In consecrated earth,
| DREWHILE of music, and ethereal mirth, A drear and dying sound
Wherewith the stage of air and Earth did ring, Affrights the Plamens at their service quaint ; And joyous news of Heavenly Infant's birth, And the chill marble seems to sweat,
My Muse with angels did divide to sing; While each peculiar Power foregoes his wonted | But headlong joy is ever on the wing, seat.
In wintery solstice like the shorten'd light,
Soon swallow'd up in dark and long out-living Peor and Baälim
night. Forsake their temples dim,
With that twice-batter'd god of palestine ; For now to sorrow must I tune my song, And mooned Ashtaroth,
| And set my harp to notes of saddest woe, Heaven's queen and mother both,
Which on our dearest Lord did seize ere loug.(so, Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine; Dangers, and snares, and wrungs, and worse thas The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn,
Which he for us did freely undergo : In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Tham. muz mourn.
· This Ode was probably composed soon after
that on the Nativity. And this perhaps was And sullen Moloch, filed, Hath left in shadows dread
a college exercise at Easter, as the last was at Christmas. WARTON.