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Madonna a voi del mio cuor l'humil dono

Farò divoto; io certo a prove tante L'hebbi fedele, intrepido, costante,

De'pensieri leggiadro, accorto, e buono; Quando rugge il gran mondo, e scocca il tuono,

S’arma di se, e d'intero diamante, Tanto del forse, e d'invidia sicuro,

Di timori, e speranze al popol use

Quanto d'ingegno, e d'alto valor vago, E di cetra sonora, e delle muse :

Sol troverete in tal parte men duro Ove Amor mise l'insanabil ago.

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VII. ON HIS BEING ARRIVED TO THE AGE OF

TWENTY-THREE.

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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 show'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 indu’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

All is, if I have grace to use it so, [ven; As ever in my great task-master's eye.

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VIII.

WHEN THE ASSAULT WAS INTENDED TO

THE CITY.

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CAPtain or Colonel, or Knight in arms,
Whose chance on these defenceless doors 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 lands and seas,

Whatever clime the sun's bright circle warms.
Lift not thy spear against the Muses' bow'r:

The great Emathian conqueror bid spare

The house of Pindarus, when temple and tow'r Went to the ground : and the repeated air

Of sad Electra's poet had the pow'r
To save the Athenian walls from ruin bare.

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IX. TO A VIRTUOUS YOUNG LADY.

LADY, that in the prime of earliest youth
Wisely hast shund the broad

way

and the green,

1 Knight] K. Richard II. act i. sc. 3, · Ask yonder knight in arms.' Warton.

5 requite] Beaumont's Psyche, xvii. 108, “Who will requite thy lays.' Dante Il Inferno, c. xxxi. ver. 127, · Ancor ti può nel mondo render fama.' 11 temple] P. Reg. iii. 268.

· Forest, and field, and flood, temples, and towers.' Warton.

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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, 10

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 gaind thy entrance, Virgin wise and pure.

X. 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 sad the breaking of that Parliament

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

5 10

5 with] In ed. 1645, and the Ruth.' Todd.

8 pity) Spenser's F. Q. i. vi. 12, · And won with pity, and unwonted ruth. Todd. Marlowe and Nash's Dido, p. 40, ed. 1825,

ruth and compassion;' and G. Peele’s Works, by Dyce, vol. i. p. 112, 178, ed. 1829.

11 hope] 'Ehals ou xatalo núvet. Rom. v. 5. Hurd.

1 Earl] Earl of Marlborough, Lord High Treasurer, and Lord President of the Council to King James I. Parliament was dissolved the 10th of March, 1628-29; he died on the 14th. Newton.

Killd with report that old man eloquent: Though later born than to have known the days

Wherein your father flourish'd, yet by you,

Madam, methinks I see him living yet;
So well your words his noble virtues praise,

That all both judge you to relate them true,
And to possess them, honour’d Margaret.

XI. ON THE DETRACTION WHICH FOLLOWED UPON

MY WRITING CERTAIN TREATISES.*

A book was writ of late call’d Tetrachordon,

And woven close, both matter, form, and style ; The subject new : it walk'd the town a while,

Numb’ring good intellects; now seldom por'd on. Cries the stall-reader, Bless us! what a word on 5

A title-page is this! and some in file
Stand spelling false, while one might walk to Mile-

End Green. Why is it harder, Sirs, than Gordon,
Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp?
Those rugged names to our like mouths grow

sleek,

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* This is the Sonnet which Dr. Johnson selected in his Dictionary, as a specimen of this species of Verse in English. Todd.

9 Colkitto] Colkitto and Macdonnel are one and the same person, an officer on the royal side, an Irishman of the Antrim family, who served under Montrose. The Macdonalds of that family are styled, by way of distinction Mac Collcittok, i. e. descendants of lame Colin. Galasp is George Gillespie, a Scottish writer against the Independents. Warton.

That would have made Quintilian stare and gasp. -Thy age, like ours, 0 Soul of Sir John Cheek, • Hated not learning worse than toad or asp, When thou taught’st Cambridge, and king Ed

ward Greek.

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I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs

By the known rules of ancient liberty,
When straight a barbarous noise environs me

Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes, and dogs :
As when those hinds that were transform’d to frogs

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;
That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood,

And still revolt when truth would set them free.

License they mean when they cry Liberty ; For who loves that, must first be wise and good;

But from that mark how far they rove we see,
For all this waste of wealth, and loss of blood.

XIII. TO MR. H. LAWES ON THE PUBLISHING HIS

AIRS.

HARRY, whose tuneful and well measur'd song

First taught our English music how to span
Words with just note and accent, not to scan
With Midas' ears, committing short and long;

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