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ON THE MORNING OP
he retired to Chalfont in Buckinghamshire on ac- ( Then, laughing, they repeat my languid lays. 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 Sinaller 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. Birch's Life of the poet, in Pawkes and Woty's Do thou, my soul's soft hope, these triflers awe; Poetical Calendar, 1763, vol. viii. p. 67. But, Tell them, 'tis nothing, how, or what, I writ! in this sonnet, 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. Por 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, abroad, without any legend, having a correspondent device.-This sonnet, I should add, va
CHRIST'S NATIVITYı, ries from the construction of the legitimate sonnet, in consisting of only ten lines, instead of wherein the Son of Heaven's Eternal King,
This is the month, and this the happy morn, fourteen.
Of wedded maid and virgin mother bora,
Our great redemption from above did bring;
For so the holy sages once did sing,
That he our deadly forfeit should release,
To sweep the wicked and their counsels hence; That glorious form, that light unsufferable,
Who Heaven's lore reject for brutish sense; Wherewith he wont at Heaven's high council-
And chose with us a darksome house of mortal
Afford a present to the Infant-God? and compositions of Milton, said to be remain-To
welcome him to this his new abode,
Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain, ing in manuscript at Florence, had 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 tradition of Milton having fallen in love with a young
And all the spangled host keep watch in squa
drons bright? lady, when he was at Florence; and, as she understood no English, of baving written some See, how from far, upon the eastern road, 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 And lay it lowly at his blessed feet; Magazine for 1760, p. 148; in Fawkes and Wo- Have thou the honour first 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 hallom'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
THE HYMN. poem is entitled, A fragment of Milton, from It was the winter wild, the Italian,
While the Heaven-born child
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies;
Nature in awe to him,
With her great Master so to sympathize:
"This ode, in which the many leamed 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 autbor 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
Divinely-warbled voice She woves the gentle air
Answering the stringed noise, To hide her guilty front with innocent snow; As all their souls in blissful rapture took: And on her naked shame,
The air, such pleasure loth to lose, Pollute with sinful blame,
With thousand echoes still prolongs each heeThe saintly veil of maiden white to throw;
venly close. Confounded, that her Maker's eyes
Nature that heard such sound, Should look so near upon her foul deformities.
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 She, crown'd with olive green, came softly slid- To think her part was done, Down through the turning sphere, [ing 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 all 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
The helmed Cherubim, Was heard the world around:
(array'd; The idle spear and shield were high up bung;
And sworded Seraphim,
(play'd, The hooked chariot stood
Are seen in glittering ranks with wings disL'ostain'd with hostile blood;
Harping in loud and solemn quire, The trumpet spake not to the armed throng;
With unexpressive notes, to Heaven's new-born
Before was never made,
But 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 whist,
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 cozy
channe! Wbo now bath quite forgot to rave,
keep. While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed
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 tix'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 pinefold harmony, Or Lucifer that often warn'd them thence;
full consort to the angelic symphoy. But in their glimmering orbs did glow, l'ntil their Lord bimself 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 leprons 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 miglity Pan
Will open wide the gates of her bigh 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 get lies in smiling infancy,
His burning idol all of blackest hue; That on the bitter cross
In vain with cymbals' ring
They call the grisly king,
In dismal dance about the furnace blue : Yet first, to those ychain'd in sleep,
The brutish gods of Nile as fast, The wakeful trump of doom must thunder Isis, and Orus, and the dog Anubis, haste. through the deep;
Nor is Osiris seen With such a horrid clang
In Memphian grove or green, As on mount Sinai rang,
Trampling the unshower'd grass with lovingt While the red fire and smouldering clouds out
loud: The aged Earth aghast
Nor can he be at rest
Within his sacred chest;
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 ark throne.
He feels from Juda's land And then at last our bliss
The dreaded infant's hand, Full and perfect is,
The rays of Bethlehem blind bis dusky eyn; But now begins; for, from this happy day,
Nor all the gods beside
Longer dare abide,
Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine:
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 waye, ing.
The flocking shadowş pale
Troop to the infernal jail,
Each fetter'd ghost slips to his several grave; No nightly trance, or breathed spell, [ing.
Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moon Inspires the pale-ey'd priest from the prophetic
lov'd maze. cell. The lonely mountains o'er,
But see, the Virgin blest
Hath laid her babe to rest; And the resounding shore,
Time is, our tedious song should here have A voice of weeping heard and loud lament;
ending : From haunted spring and dale,
Heaven's youngest-teemed star
Hath fix'd her polish'd car,
Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp at
(tending: The nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets And all about the courtly stable
Bright-harness'd angels sit in ord er serviceable.
In consecrated earth,
[plaint ; A drear and dying sound
Wherewith the stage of air and Earth did ring, Affrights the Flamens 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,
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 long.[sa, Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine; Dangers, and snares, and wrongs, and worse than The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn,
Which he for us did freely undergo : In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Tham.
This Ode was probably composed soon after And sullen Moloch, fled,
that on the Nativity. And this perhaps was
a college exorcise at Easter, as the last was at Hath left in shadows dread
Most perfect Hero, tried in heaviest plight Through the soft silence of the listening Night; Of labour, huge and hard, too hard for human Now mourn; and, if sad share with us to bear wight!
Your fiery essence can distil no tear,
Bury in your sighs, and borrow
Enter'd the world, now bleeds to give us ease :
Sore doth begin
Just law indeed, but more exceeding love !
For we, by rightful doom remediless,
High thron'd in secret bliss, for us frail dust
Emptied his glory, even to nakedness; And former sufferings, other where are found; And that great covenant which we still transgress Loud o'er the rest Cremona's trump doth sound; Entirely satisfied ; Me softer airs befit, and softer strings
And the full wrath beside Of lute, or viol still, more apt for mournful of vengeful justice bore for our excess; things.
And seals obedience first, with wounding smart,
This day ; but O, ere long, Befriend me, Night, best patroness of grief;
Huge pangs and strong
Will pierce more near his heart,
The leaves should all be black whereon I write,
DYING OF A COUGH'.
Parrest flower, no sooner blown but blasted,
Summer's chief honour, if thou hadst out-lasted Once glorious towers, now sunk in guiltless Bleak Winter's force that made thy blossom dry;
For hc, being amorous on that lovely dye There doth my soul in holy vision sit,
That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to In pensire trance, and anguish, and ecstatic
But kill'd, alas! and then bewail'd his fatal bliss. Mine eve hath found that sad sepulchral rock For since grim Aquilo, his charioteer, That was the casket of Heaven's richest store,
By boisterous rape the Athenian damsel got, And here though grief my feeble hands up lock, He thought it touch'd his deity full near, Yet on the soften'd quarry would I score
If likewise he some fair one wedded not, My plaining verse as lively as before;
Thereby to wipe away the infamous blot For sure so well instructed are my tears, Of long-uncoupled bed and childless eld, That they would fitly fall in order'd characters. Which, 'mongst the wanton gods, a foul reprogch Or should I thence hurried on viewless wing
was held. Take up a weeping on the mountains wild,
So, mounting up in icy-pearled car, The gentle neighbourhood of grove and spring
Through middle empire of the freezing air Would soon unbosom all their echoes mild;
He wander'd long, till thee he spied from far; And I (for grief is easily beguild) Might think the infection of my sorrows loud
There ended was his quest, there ceas'd his care:
Down he descended from his snow-soft chair, Had got a race of mourners on some pregnant cloud.
But, all unwares, with his cold kind embrace Unhous'd thy virgin soul from her fair hiding
place. This subject the author finding to be above the
years he had, when he wrote it, and nothing Yet art thou not inglorious in thy fate;
Whilom did slay his dearly-loved mate,
But then transforı'd him to a purple flower :
Alack, that so to change thee Winter had no Ye Aaming powers, and winged warriors bright,
power! That erst with music, and triumphant song, First beard by happy watchful shepherds' ear, 1 Written in 1625, and first inserted in ediSo sweetly sung your joy the clouds along tion 1673. He was now seventeen, WARTON,
Yet can I not persuade me thou art dead, For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb'd,
Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
Oh no! for something in thy face did shine When every thing that is sincerely good
With truth, and peace, and love, shall ever shine Resolve me then, oh soul most surely blest,
About the supreme throne (If so it be that thou these plaints dost hear ;)
Of him, to whose happy-making sight alone, Tell me, bright spirit, where'er thou hoverest,
When once our beavenly-guided soul shall climb, Whether above that high first-moving sphere, Then, all this earthy grossness quit, Or in the Elysian Fields, (if such were there ;)
Attir'd with stars, we shall for ever sit, Oh say me true, if thou wert mortal wight,
Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee, And why from us so quickly thou didst take thy
Of sheeny Heaven, and thou, some goddess Sphere-born harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse, Amongst us here below to hide thy nectar'd head ?
Wed your divine sounds, and mix'd power employ Or wert thou that just maid, who once before
Dead things with inbreath'd sense able to pierce ; Forsook the hated Earth, 0 tell me sooth,
And to our high-rais'd phantasy present And cam'st again to visit us once more ?
That undisturbed song of pure consent, Or wert thou that sweet-smiling youth?
Aye sung before the saphire-colour'd throne
To him that sits thereon,
With saintly shout, and solemn jubilee;
Where the bright Seraphim, in buming row, 12 good ?
Their loud up-lifted angel-trumpets blow;
And the cherubic host, in thousand quires, Or wert thou of the golden-winged host, Touch their immortal harps of golden wires, Who, baving clad thyself in human weed, With those just spirits that wear victorious palms, To Earth from thy prefixed seat didst post, Hymns devout and holy psalms And after short abode Ay back with speed, Singing everlastingly : As if to show what creatures Heaven doth breed; That we on Earth, with updiscording voice,
Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire May rightly answer that melodious noise ; To scorn the sordid world, and unto Heaven As once we did, till disproportion'd Sin aspire ?
Jarr'd against Nature's chime, and with harsh did
Broke the fair music that all creatures made But oh! why didst thou not stay here below
To their great Lord, whose love their motjog To bless us with thy heaven-lov'd innocence,
In perfect diapason, whilst they stood (sway'd To slake his wrath whom sin hath made our foe,
In first obedience, and their state of good, To turn swift-rushing black Perdition bence,
0, may we soon again renew that song, Or drive away the slaughtering Pestilence,
And keep in tune with Heaven, till God ere long To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart ?
To his celestial consort us unite, But thou canst best perform that office where to live with him, and sing in endless mom of thou art.
This if thou do, he will an offspring give, That, till the world's last end, shall make thy MARCHIONESS OF WINCHESTER', name to live,
This rich marble doth inter
A viscount's daughter, an earl's heir,
Besides what her virtues fair
chester, a conspicuous loyalist in the reign of Whose speed is but the heavy plummet's pace; king Charles the first, whose magoificent house And glut thyself with what thy womb, devours, or castle of Basing in Hampshire withstood an Which is no more than what is false and vain, obstinate siege of two years against the rebels, And merely mortal dross ;
and when taken was levelled to the ground, be. So little is our loss,
cause in every window was flourished. Aymez So little is thy gain!