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Fuôr di sua natia alma primavera,

L'hebbi fedele, intrepido, costante, Cosi Amor meco insù la lingua snella

De peusieri leggiadro, accorto, e buono ; Desta il fior novo di strania favella,

Quando rugge il gran mondo, e scocca il tuono, Mentre io di te, vezzosamente altera,

S'arma di se, e d'intero diamante: Canto, dal mio buon popol non inteso

Tanto del forse, e d'invidia sicuro, E'l bel Tamigi cangio col bel Arno.

Di timori, e speranze, al popol use, Amor lo volse, ed io a l'altrui peso

Quanto d'ingegno, e d'alto valor vago,
Seppi ch’Amor cosa mai volse indarno.

E di cetta sonora, e delle muse :
Deh! foss'il mio cuor lento e'l duro seno Sol troverete in tal parte men duro,
A chi pianta dal ciel si buon terreno.

Ove Amor mise l'insanabil ago.




Riponsi donne e giovani amorosi

M'accostandosi attorno, e perche scrivi,
Perche tu scrivi in lingua ignota e straga
Verseggiando d'amor, e come tosi?
Pinne, se la tua speme sia mai vana,
E de pensieri lo miglior t'arrivi;
Cosi mi van burlando, altri rivi
Altri lidi t'aspettan, ed altre onde
Nelle cui verdi sponde
Spuntati ad hor, ad hora la tua chioma
L'immortal guiderdon d' eterne frondi
Perche alle spalle tue soverchia soma?

Canzon dirotti, e tu per me rispondi
Dice mia Donna, e'l suo dir, é il mio cuore
Questa e lingua di cui si vania Amore.

How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,

Stol’n on bis 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

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




Diodati, e te'l dirò con maraviglia,

Quel ritroso io ch'amor spreggiar soléa
E de suoi lacci spesso mi ridéa
Gia caddi, or'huom dabben talhor s'impiglia.
Ne treccie d'oro, de guancia vermiglia

M'abbaglian sì, ma sotto nova idea
Pellegrina bellezza che'l cuor bea,

Portamenti alti honesti, e nelle ciglia
Quel sereno fulgor d'amabil nero,

Parole adorne di lingua piu d'una,

E’l cantar che di mezzo l'hemispero
Traviar ben puo la faticosa Luna,

E degli occhi suoi auventa si gran fuoco
Che l'incerar gli orecchi mi fia poco.

CAPTAIN, or colonel, or knight in arms, (seize,

Whose chance on these defenceless doors may
If deed of honour did thee ever please, [harms.

Guard them, and him within protect from
He can requite thee; for he knows the charms

That call fame on suci gentle acts as these,
And he can spread thy name o'er lands and

Whatever clime the Sun's bright circle warms.
Lift nol thy spear against the Muses bower:

The great Emathian conqueror 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 the Athenian walls from ruin bare.



Per certo i bei vostr'occhi, Donna mia

Esser non puo che non sian lo mio sole
Si mi percuoton forte, come ei suole

Per l'arene di Libia chi s'invia,
Mentre un caldo vapor (ne senti pria)

Da quel lato si spinge ove mi duole,
Che forse amanti nelle lor parole

Chiaman sospir ; io non so che si sia :
Parte rinchiusa, e turbida si cela

Scosso mi il petto, e poi n'uscendo poco

Quivi d' attorno o s'igghiaccia, o s'ingiela;
Ma quanto a gli occhi giunge a trovar loco

Tutte le notti a me suol far piovose
Finche mia Alba rivien colma di rose,


Lady, that in the prime of earliest youth [green,

Wisely hast shunnid the broad way and the
And with those few art eminently seen,

That labour up the bill 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 tind 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

[friends Thou, when the bridegroom with his feastful

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



Goraxe piano, e semplicette amante

Poi che fuggir me stesso in dubbio sono,
Madonna a voi del mio cuor l'humil dono
Farò divoto ; io certo a prove tante,




Daughter to that good earl, once president

I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs

By the known rules of ancient liberty,
Of England's council and her treasury,
Who liv'd in both, unstain'd with gold or fee,

When straight a barbarous noise environs tre

Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes, and dogs: And left them both, more in himself content,

As when those hinds that were transform'd to Till sad the breaking of that parliament

Broke him, as that dishonest victory

Rail'd at Latona's twin-born progeny,
At Chæronea, fatal to liberty,

Which after held the Sun and Moon in fee.
Kill'd with report that old man eloquent.
Though later born than to have known the days, That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood,

But this is got by casting pearl to hogs;
Wherein your father flourish'd, yet by you,

And still revolt when truth would set them
Madam, methinks, I see him living yet ;

free. So well your words his noble virtues praise,

Licence they mean when they cry Liberty; That all both judge you to relate them true,

For who loves that, must first be wise and good; And to possess them, honourd Margaret.

But from that mark how far they rove we see, XI.

For all this waste of wealth, and loos of blood.



A BOOK was writ of late called Tetrachordon,

And woven close, both matter, form,and style; HARRY, whose tuneful and well measur'd song
The subjeet new : it walk'd the town awhile,

First taught our English music how to span Numbering good intellects; now seldom pored Words with just note and accent, not to scan

Witb Midas ears, committing short and long; Cries the stall-reader, Bless us ! what a word on Thy worth and skill exempts thee from the A title page is this! and some in file

throng, Stand spelling false, while one might walk to • With praise enough for Envy to look wan; Mile

(Gordon, To after age thou shalt be writ the man, End Green. Why is it harder, sirs, than That with smooth air could'st humour best our Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp?


[wing Those rugged names to our like mouths grow Thou honour'st verse, and verse must lend her sleek,

[gasp. To honour thee, the priest of Pheebus' quire, That would have made Quintilian stare and That tun'st their bappiest lines in hymn or Tby age, like ours, O soul of sir John Cheek,

story. Hated not learning worse than toad or asp, Dante shall give Fame leave to set thee higher When thou taught'st Cambridge, and king Than his Casella, whom he woo'd to sing Edward, Greek.

Met in the milder shades of Purgatory. Ver. 1. Daughter to that good earl,] She was

XIV. the daughter of sir James Ley, whose singular ON THE RELIGIOUS MEMORY OF MRS. CATHElearning and abilities raised bim through all the

RINE THOMSON', my Christian friend, great posts of the law, till he came to be made

deceased 16 Decemb. 1646. earl of Malborough, and lord higis treasurer, and lord president of the council to king James When Faith and Love, which parted from thee I. He died in an advanced age; and Milton at

never, tributes his death to the breaking of the parlia- Had ripen'd thy just soul to dwell with God, ment; and it is true that the parliament was Meekly thou didst resign this earthly load dissolved the 10th of March 1628-9, and he died Of death, call'd life; which us from life doth on the 14th of the same month. He left seve

sever. ral sons and daughters; and the lady Margaret was married to captain Hobson of the Isle of of whom Milton calls,a Serving-man tumed Sol. Wight. It appears from the accounts of Millicitor! Our author's divorce was on Platonic ton's life, that in 1643 he used frequently to vi- principles. He held, that disagreement of mind sit this lady and her husband; about which was a better cause of separation than adultery or time we may suppose this sonnet to hare been frigidity. Here was a fair opening for the laughcomposed.

This and the following Sonnet were written Ver. 1. A book was writ of late calld Tetrachor. soon after 1645. For this doctrine Milton was don] This elaborate discussion, unworthy in summoned before the Lords. But they not apmany respects of Milton, and in which much proving his accusers, the presbyterian clergy, or acuteness of argument, and comprehension of thinking the business too speculative, he was reading, were idly thrown away, was received quickly dismissed. On this occasion Milton with cuntempt, or rather ridicule, as we learn commenced hostilities against the Presbytefrom Howel's Letters. A better proof that it rians. was treated with neglect, is, that it was attacked 'Mrs. Catherine Thomson,] I find in the acby two nameless and obscure writers only; one counts of Milton's life, thai, when he was first


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Thy works, and alms, and all thy good endea- | Whether to settle peace, or to unfold vour,

The drift of hollow states hard to be spell’d; Staid not behind, nor in the grave were trod; Then to advise how war may, best upheld, But, as Faith pointed with her golden rod, Move by her two main nerves, iron and gold,

Follow'd thee up to joy and bliss for ever. In all her equipage: besides to know Love led them on, and Faith, who knew them best Both spiritual power and civil, what each Thy hand-maids, clad them o'er with purple

means, beams

What severs each, thou hast learn'd, which few And azure wings, that up thay few so drest,

have done:
Add spake the truth of thee on glorious diomes The bounds of either sword to thee we owe:
Before the Judge; who thenceforth bid thee Therefore on thy firm hand religion leans

In peace, and reckons thee her eldest son.
And drink thy fill of pure immortal streams.


TO THE LORD GENERAL PAIRPAX. AVENGE, O Lord, thy slaughter'd saints, whose

bones PAIRFAX, whose name in arms through Europe Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains co!d; rings,

Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old, Filling each mouth with envy or with praise, When all our fathers worshipt stocks and And all her jealous monarchs with amaze

stones, And rumours loud, that daunt remotest kings; Forget not: in thy book record their groans Thy firm unshaken virtue ever brings

Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold Victory home, though new rebellions raise

Slain by the bloody Piemontese that rollid Their Hydra heads, and the false North dis

Mother with infant down the rocks. Their plays

moans Her broken league to imp their serpent-wings. The vales redoubled to the hills, and they Oyet a nobler task awaits thy hand,

To Heaven, Their martyrd blood and ashes (For what can war, but endless war otill breed?)

Till truth and right from violence be freed, O'er all the Italian fields, where still doth swa, And public faith cloard from the shameful brand The triple tyrant; that from these may grow of public fraud. In vain doth valour bleed,

A hundred fold, who, having learn'd thy way
While avarice and rapine share the land.

Early may fly the Babylonian woe.


CROMWELL, our chief of men, who through a

When I consider how my light is spent
Not of war only, but detractions rude,

Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
Guided by faith and matchless fortitude, And that one talent which is death to hide,
To peace and truth thy glorious way hast Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more

bent And on the neck of crowned fortune proud To serve therewith my Maker, and present Hast rear'd God's trophies, and his work pur- My true account, lest he, returning, chide ; sued,

[imbrued, “ Doth God exact day-labour, light denied ?" While Darwen stream, with blood of Scots I fondly ask: but Patience, to prevent

And Dunbar field resounds thy praises loud, That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need And Worcester's laureat wreath. Yet much re- “Either man's work, or his own gifts; who mains

best To conquer still ; peace hath her victories Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best : his No less renown'd than war: new foes arise

Threatening to bind our souls with secular chains: Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,

Help us to save free conscience from the paw And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
Of hireling wolves, whose gospel is their maw. They also serve who only stand and wait.”



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VANE, young in years, but in sage counsel old, LAWRENCE, of virtuous father virtuous son,
Than whom a better senator ne'er held

Now that the fields are dank, and ways are The helm of Rome, when gowns, not arms, re

mire, The fierce Epirot and the African bold; (pellid Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire

Help waste a sullen day, what may be won made Latin secretary, he lodged at one Thomson's next door to the Bull-head tavern at Char- Ver. 1. Lawrence, of virtuous father virtuous ing-Cross. This Mrs. Thomson was in all pro- son, &c.] The virtuous father Henry Lawrence, bability one of that family. NEWTON. was member for Herefordshire in the Little Par.

From the hard season gaining? Time will run Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask? On smoother, till Favonius re-inspire

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 repast 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 vain mask
To hear the lute well touch'd, or artful voice Content though blind, had I no better guide.
Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air?
He who of those delights can judge, and spare

To interpose them oft, is not unwise.


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 Resevd 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

taint laws,

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 fled; and day brought back my way;

nigbt. For other things mild Heaven a time ordains, And disapproves that care, though wiseln show,

That with superfluous burden loads the day,
And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains. ORIGINAL VARIOUS READINGS OF THE SONNETS,


Sonn. viii.

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

Sonx. 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

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 Cromwell.

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.

Sonn. xi. 1646. 4°, 189 pages. 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 weau'd it close, both matter, form, 1649. Lond. 4o.

and style : Sou 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 i selone of the daughters of the famous sir Edward

dom por'd op. Coke, lord chiof justice of the King's Bench. Ver. 10. Those barbarous names.

civill means,

Then rough-hewn, and lastly rugged. All in From ver. 1. to ver. 8, as now printed.
Milton's own hand.

Ver. 9. And twenty battles more.

So it was at first written, afterwards corrected to Sonn. 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 Sil be free.

sonnet is written. All in Milton's own hand.

Sonn. xvii.
Sonn. xiii.

Ver. 1. As now printed. Title.“ To my friend Mr, Hen. Lawes, feb. Ver. 2. And to advise how war may, best up9. 1645. On the publishing of his

held, aires."

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. 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 man,

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 WarburThan 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. Soxx. xiv.

Sonn. xxi.
Title, as printed in this edition.
Ver. 3. Meekly thou didst resign this earthly

The four first lines are wanting.

Ver. 8. As now printed.
Of fiesh and sin, which man from hea-

In the hand of a fourth woman, as it seems ven doth sever.

Sonx. xxi.
Ver. 6. Strait follow'd thee the path, that saints
have trod

Ver. 3. to ver. 5, as now printed.
Still as they journey'd from this dark Ver. 7. Against God's hand

Afterwards altered to Heaven's hand.
Up to the realm of preace and joy for Ver. 8.

but still attend 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 sido Here also the line had been written,

to side.
Faith who led on the way, and knew Ver. 13, 14. As now printed.
them best, &c.

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. xxiii. man's hand,

No variations, except in the spelling. This is

in a fifth female hand; beautifully written; imiSons. 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. Sony. xvi. Title. “To the lord general Cromwell, May

J. 1652. On the Proposalls of certaine ministers at the committee for propagation of the gospell.Af- Dr. Birch, in bis Life of Milton, bas printed a terwards blotted out.

sonnet, said to be written by Milton in 1665, when 6


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