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Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains cold
When all our fathers worshipp'd stocks and stones, Forget not in thy book : record their groans
Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient folds
Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moars The vales redoubled to the hills, and they
To Heaven. Their martyr'd blood and ashes sow
O'er all th' Italian fields, where still doth sway
ON HIS BLINDNESS.
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide, And that one talent which is death to hide,
Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he, returning, chide;
I fondly ask: but Patience, to prevent
Either man's work, or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best; his state Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
TO MR. LAWRENCE.*
LAWRENCE, of virtuous father virtuous son,
Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire,
Help waste a sullen day, what may be won
Of Attic taste, with wine whence we may rise
To hear the lute well touch'd, or artful voice,
He who of those delights can judge, and spare
TO CYRIAC SKINNER. †
CYRIAC, whose grandsire, on the royal bench
Of British Themis, with no mean applause
Which others at their bar so often wrench;
In mirth, that after, no repenting draws;
And what the Swede intends, and what the French: To measure life learn thou betimes, and know
* This Mr. Lawrence was the Son of the President of Cromell's council.
+ Cyriac Skinner was the son of William Skinner, Esqr., and grandson of Sir Vincent Skinner, and his mother was daughter of the famous Lord Chief Justice Coke. Mr. Wood relates that he was one of Harrington's political club, and sometimes held the chair; and further adde, that he was a merchant's son of London, an ingenious young gentleman, and scholar to John Milton.
Tow'rd solid good what leads the nearest way;
For other things mild Heaven a time ordains, And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
That with superfluous burden loads the day, And when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.
TO THE SAME.
CYRIAC, this three-years-day these eyes, though clear.
To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not
Of heart or hope ; but still bear up and steer
In liberty's defence, my noble task, Of which all Europe talks from side to side. This thought might lead me through the world's
vain mask Content, though blind, had I no better guide.
ON HIS DECEASED WIFE.*
METHOUGHT I saw my late espous'd saint
Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave, Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave, Rescued from death by force, though pale and faint * This was his second wife, Catharine, the daughter of Captain Woodcock of Hackney, who lived with him not above a year after their marriage, and died in child-bed of a daughter.
Mine, as whom wash'd from spot of child-bed taint,
Purification in th' old Law did save,
Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,
Her face was veil'd; yet, to my fancied sight,
Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd So clear, as in no face with more delight:
But 0! as to embrace me she inclin'd,
[Done into verse, 1653.]
BLESS'd is the man who hath not walk'd astray
[Done August 8, 1653.]
Way do the Gentiles tumult, and the nations
Muse a vain thing, the kings of th' earth upstand