Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

THE FIFTH ODE OF HORACE, Lib. I.

Quis multa gracilis te puer in rosa, rendered almost

word for word without rhyme, according to th : Latin measure, as near as the language will permit

What slender youth, bedew'd with liquid odours,
Courts thee on roses in some pleasant cave,

Pyrrha ? for whom bind'st thou

In wreaths thy golden hair,
Plain in thy neatness ? O, how oft shall he
On faith and changed gods complain, and seas

Rough with black winds, and storms

Unwonted shall admire!
Who now enjoys thee credulous, all gold,
Who always vacant, always amiable

Hopes thee, of flattering gales

Unmindful. Hapless they
To whom thou untried seem'st fair! Me, in my

vow'd
Picture, the sacred wall declares to have hung
My dank and dropping weeds
To the stern god of sea.

SONNETS.

TO THE NIGHTINGALE.
O NIGHTINGALE, that on yon bloomy spray
Warblest at eve, when all the woods are still;
Thou with fresh hope the lover's heart dost fill,
While the jolly Hours lead on propitious May.
Thy liquid notes that close the eye of day,

First heard before the shallow cuckoo's bill,
Portend success in love; O, if Jove's will

Have link'd that amorous power to thy soft lay, Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate

Foretel my hopeless doom, in some grove nigh ;

As thou, from year to year, hast sung too late For my relief, yet hadst no reason why:

Whether the Muse, or Love, call thee his mate, Both them I serve, and of their train am I.

ON HIS BEING ARRIVED TO THE AGE

OF TWENTY-THREE.

How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,

Stol'n on his wing my three-and-twentieth year! My hasting days fly on with full career,

But my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th. Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth,

That I to manhood am arriv'd so near;
And inward ripeness doth much less appear
That some more timely-happy spirits endu'th.

Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,

It shall be still in strictest measure even

To that same lot, however mean or high, Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Hea

· ven;

All is, if I have grace to use it so,
As ever in my great Task-Master's eye.

WHEN THE ASSAULT WAS INTENDED

TO THE CITY.*

CAPTAIN, or Colonel, or Knight in arms
Whose chance on these defenceless door may

seize,
If deed of honour did thee ever please,
Guard them, and him within protect from harms:
He can requite thee; for he knows the charms

That call Fame on such gentle acts as these,

And he can spread thy name o'er land and seas, What ever clime the sun's bright circle warms. Lift not thy spear against the Muses' bower :

The great Emathian conquerer bid spare
The house of Pindarus, when temple and tower

Went to the ground; and the repeated air
Of sad Electra's poet had the power

To save th' Athenian walls from ruin bare.

TO A VIRTUOUS YOUNG LADY. LADY, that in the prime of earliest youth

Wisely hast shunn'd the broad way and the green, * In the manuscript after the title, is added 1642. It was in November of that year that the King marched with his army as near as Brentford, and put the city in great consternation.

And with those few art eminently seen,
That labour up the hill of heavenly truth;
The better part with Mary and with Ruth
Chosen thou hast ; and they that overween,
And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen,
No anger find in thee but pity and ruth.
Thy care is fix'd, and zealously attends

To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light,

And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be sure Thou, when the Bridegroom, with his feastful friends

Passes to bliss, at the mid hour of night,
Hast gain'd thy entrance, Virgin wise and pure.

TO THE LADY MARGARET LEY, *
DAUGHTER to that good Earl, once President

Of England's Council, and her Treasury,
Who liv'd in both, unstain'd with gold or fee,

And left them both, more in himself content,
Till the sad breaking of that Parliament

Broke him, as that dishonest victory
At Chæronea fatal to liberty,

Kill'd with report that old man eloquent.
Though later born than to have known the days

* We have given the title which is in Milton's Manuscript, T. the Lady Margaret Ley. She was the daughter of Sir James Ley, whose singular learning and abilities raised him through all the great posts of the law, till he came to be made Earl of Marlbo. rough, and Lord High Treasurer, and Lord President of the Council to King James I. He died in an advanced age, and Mil.

80, and was ton attributes his death to the heegkind of than

tributes his death to the breaking of the parliament; and it is true that the parliament was dissolved the 10th of March, 1628-9, and he died on the 14th of the same month. He left several sons and daughters ; and the Lady Margaret was married to Captain Hobson, of the Isle of Wight. It appears from the accounts of Milton's life, that in the year 1643 he used frequently to visit this lady and her husband, and about that time we may suppose this sonnet was composed.'

« AnteriorContinuar »