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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,
E di cetta sonora, e delle muse :
Ove Amor mise l'insanabil ago.
ON HIS BEING ARRIVED TO THE AGE OP 23.
Riponsi donne e giovani amorosi
M'accostandosi attorno, e perche scrivi,
Canzon dirotti, e tu per me rispondi
How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stol’n on bis wing my three and twentieth year
But my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th.
That I to manhood am arriv'd so near;
That some more timely-happy spirits endu'th.
It shall be still in strictest measure even
To that same lot, however mean or high,
All is, if I have grace to use it so, (Heaven:
WIEN THE ASSAULT WAS INTENDED TO THE
Quel ritroso io ch'amor spreggiar soléa
M'abbaglian sì, ma sotto nova idea
Portamenti alti honesti, e nelle ciglia
Parole adorne di lingua piu d'una,
E’l cantar che di mezzo l'hemispero
E degli occhi suoi auventa si gran fuoco
CAPTAIN, or colonel, or knight in arms, (seize,
Whose chance on these defenceless doors may
Guard them, and him within protect from
That call fame on suci gentle acts as these,
The great Emathian conqueror bid spare
Of sad Electra's poet had the power
Per certo i bei vostr'occhi, Donna mia
Esser non puo che non sian lo mio sole
Per l'arene di Libia chi s'invia,
Da quel lato si spinge ove mi duole,
Chiaman sospir ; io non so che si sia :
Scosso mi il petto, e poi n'uscendo poco
Quivi d' attorno o s'igghiaccia, o s'ingiela;
Tutte le notti a me suol far piovose
TO A VIRTUOUS YOUNG LADY.
Wisely hast shunnid the broad way and the
That labour up the bill of heavenly truth,
Chosen thou hast; and they that overween,
No anger tind in thee, but pity and ruth.
To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light,
[friends Thou, when the bridegroom with his feastful
Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night,
Goraxe piano, e semplicette amante
Poi che fuggir me stesso in dubbio sono,
ON THE SANÉ.
I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
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
Rail'd at Latona's twin-born progeny,
Which after held the Sun and Moon in fee.
But this is got by casting pearl to hogs;
And still revolt when truth would set them
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.
TO MR. H. LAWES ON THE PUBLISHING HIS
And woven close, both matter, form,and style; HARRY, whose tuneful and well measur'd song
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
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
What severs each, thou hast learn'd, which few And azure wings, that up thay few so drest,
In peace, and reckons thee her eldest son.
ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEMONT.
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
Early may fly the Babylonian woe.
ON HIS BLINDNESS,
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
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
Help us to save free conscience from the paw And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
TO SIR HENRY VANE, THE YOUNGER.
TO MR. LAWRENCE.
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
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 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
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,
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
TO THE SAME.
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
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.
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 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.
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
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.
The four first lines are wanting.
Ver. 8. As now printed.
In the hand of a fourth woman, as it seems ven doth sever.
Ver. 3. to ver. 5, as now printed.
Afterwards altered to Heaven's hand.
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,
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