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All thy remaining life should sunshine be; The foolish sports I did on thee bestow,
Make all my art and labour fruitless now;
Where once such fairies dance, no grass doth ever And thou, with all the noble company,
Art got at last to shore.
“ When my new mind had no infusion known, All march'd up to possess the promis'd land, Thou gav'st so deep a tincture of thine own, Thou, still alone, alas ! dost gaping stand
That ever since I vainly try Upon the naked beach, upon the barren sand !
To wash away th' inherent dye:
Long work perhaps may spoil thy colours quite ; “ As a fair morning of the blessed spring,
But never will reduce the native white : After a tedious stormy night,
To all the ports of honour and of gain, Such was the glorious entry of our king ;
I often steer my course in vain ;
By making them so oft to be
Whoever this world's happiness would see,
Must as entirely cast off thee, And upon all the quicken'd ground
As they who only Heaven desire
Do from the world retire.
Myself a demi-votary to make.
Thus, with Sapphira and her husband's fate, (The men whom through long wanderings he had led)|(A fault which I, like them, am taught too late,)
That he would give them ev'n a heaven of For all that I gave up I nothing gain, brass :
And perish for the part which I retain. They look'd up to that Heaven in vain, That bounteous. Heaven, which God did not re “ Teach me not then, O thou fallacious Muse! strain
The court, and better king, t'accuse : Upon the most unjust to shine and rain.
The heaven under which I live is fair,
The fertile soil will a full harvest bear : “ The Rachel, for which twice seven years and more Thine, thine is all the barrenness; if thou
Thou didst with faith and labour serve, Mak'st me sit still and sing, when I should plough. And didst (if faith and labour can) deserve, When I but think how many a tedious year Though she contracted was to thee,
Our patient sovereign did attend Given to another thou didst see
His long misfortunes' fatal end; Given to another, who had store
How cheerfully, and how exempt from fear, Of fairer and of richer wives before,
On the Great Sovereign’s will he did depend; And not a Leah left, thy recompense to be! I ought to be accurst, if I refuse Go on; twice seven years more thy fortune try; To wait on his, O thou fallacious Muse! Twice seven years inore God in his bounty may Kings have long hands, they say; and, though I be Give thee, to fling away
So distant, they may reach at length to me. Into the court's deceitful lottery :
However, of all the princes, thou But think how likely 'tis that thou,
Should'st not reproach rewards for being small or With the dull work of thy unwieldy plough,
slow; Should'st in a hard and barren season thrive, Thou! who rewardest but with popular breath, Should'st even able be to live;
And that too after death."
HYMN TO LIGHT.
From the old Negro's darksome womb! “ Ah, wanton foe! dost thou upbraid
Which, when it saw the lovely child, The ills which thou thyself hast made ? The melancholy mass put on kind looks and When in the cradle innocent I lay,
smil'd; Thou, wicked spirit! stolest me away, And my abused soul didst bear
Thou tide of glory, which no rest dost know, Into thy new-found worlds, I know not where,
But ever ebb and ever flow! Thy golden Indies in the air;
Thou golden shower of a true Jove! And ever since I strive in vain
Who does in thee descend, and Heaven to Earth My ravish'd freedom to regain ;
make love! Still I rebel, still thou dost reign ; Lo! still in verse against thee I complain. Hail, active Nature's watchful life and health! There is a sort of stubborn weeds,
Her joy, her ornament, and wealth! Which, if the earth but once, it ever, breeds ;
Hail to thy husband, Heat, and thee ! No wholesome herb can near them thrive, Thou the world's beauteous bride, the lusty brideNo useful plant can keep alive :
Say, from what golden quivers of the sky
The ghosts, and monster-spirits, that did presume Do all thy winged arrows fly?
A body's privilege to assume,
Vanish again invisibly,
All the world's bravery, that delights our eyes, 'Tis, I believe, this archery to show,
Is but thy several liveries ; That so much cost in colours thou,
Thou the rich dye on them bestow'st, And skill in painting, dost bestow,
Thy nimble pencil paints this landscape as thou Upon thy ancient arms, the gaudy heavenly bow. go'st. Swift as light thoughts their empty career run, A crimson garment in the rose thou wear'st; Thy race is finish'd when begun ;
A crown of studded gold thou bear'st ; Let a post-angel start with thee,
The virgin-lilies, in their white, And thou the goal of Earth shalt reach as soon as he. Are clad but with the lawn of almost naked light. Thou in the Moon's bright chariot, proud and gay, The violet, Spring's little infant, stands Dost thy bright wood of stars survey !
Girt in thy purple swaddling-bands And all the year dost with thee bring
On the fair tulip thou dost doat ; Of thousand flowery lights thine own noeturnal Thou cloth’st it in a gay and party-colour'd coat. spring.
With flame condens'd thou do'st thy jewels fix, Thou, Scythian-like, dost round thy lands above And solid colours in it mix : The Sun's gilt tents for ever move,
Flora herself envies to see And still, as thou in pomp dost go,
Flowers fairer than her own, and durable as she. The shining pageants of the world attend thy show.
Ah, goddess! would thou could'st thy hand withhold,
And be less liberal to gold ! Nor amidst all these triumphs dost thou scorn
Did'st thou less value to it give, The humble glow-worms to adorn,
Of how much care, alas! might'st thoun poor man And with those living spangles gild
relieve! (O greatness without pride!) the bushes of the field.
To me the Sun is more delightful far,
And all fair days much fairer are. Night, and her ugly subjects, thou dost fright,
But few, ah! wondrous few, there be, And Sleep, the lazy owl of night ;
Who do not gold prefer, O goddess ! ev'n to thee. Asham'd, and fearful to appear, They screen their horrid shapes with the black Through the soft ways of Heaven, and air, and sea, hemisphere.
Which open all their pores to thee,
Like a clear river thou dost glide, With them there hastes, and wildly takes th' alarm, And with thy living stream through the close chanOf painted dreams a busy swarm :
nels slide. At the first opening of thine eye The various clusters break, the antic atoms fly But, where firm bodies thy free course oppose,
Gently thy source the land o'erflows; The guilty serpents, and obscener beasts,
Takes there possession, and does make,
Nature to thee does reverence pay,
In th' empyræan Heaven does stay.
Thy rivers, lakes, and springs, below, To shake his wings, and rouse his head : From thence took first their rise, thither at last And cloudy Care has often took
Hope! whose weak being ruin’d is, To the cheek colour comes, and firmness to the Alike, if it succeed, and if it miss ; knee.
Whom good or ill does equally confound,
And both the horns of Fate's dilemma wound: Ev'n Lust, the master of a harden'd face,
Vain shadow! which does vanish quite, Blushes, if thou be'st in the place,
Both at full noon and perfect night! To Darkness' curtains he retires;
The stars have not a possibility In sympathising night he rolls his smoky fires.
Of blessing thee;
If things then from their end we happy call,
Out of the morning's purple bed,
Hope! thou bold taster of delight, (quite ! And all the joyful world salutes the rising day. Who, whilst thou should'st but taste, devour'st it
Thou bring'st us an estate, yet lear'st us poor,
Fruition more deceitful is By clogging it with legacies before !
Than thou canst be, when thou dost miss ; The joys which we entire should wed,
Men leave thee by obtaining, and straight flee Come deflower'd virgins to our bed ;
Some other way again to thee; Good fortunes without gain imported be,
And that's a pleasant country, without doubt,
To which all soon return that travel out.
Hope! Fortune's cheating lottery ! | CLAUDIAN'S OLD MAN OF VERONA.
DE SENE VERONENSI, QUI SUBURBIUM NUNQUAM
Felix, qui patriis, &c.
HAPPY the man, who his whole time doth bound
Within th' enclosure of his little ground.
Happy the man, whom the same humble place By ignes fatui for north-stars we sail.
(Th' hereditary cottage of his race)
From his first rising infancy has known, Brother of Fear, more gayly clad !
And by degrees sees gently bending down, The merrier fool o' th' two, yet quite as mad :
With natural propension, to that earth
Which both preserv'd his life, and gave him birth. Sire of Repentance! child of fond Desire !
Him no false distant lights, by fortune set, That blow'st the chymics', and the lovers', fire,
Could ever into foolish wanderings get. Leading them still insensibly on
He never dangers either saw or fear'd: By the strange witchcraft of “ anon !"
The dreadful storms at sea he never heard.
He never heard the shrill alarms of war,
Or the worse noises of the lawyers' bar.
No change of consuls marks to him the year,
The change of seasons is his calendar.
He measures time by land-marks, and has found
For the whole day the dial of his ground. Hope! of all ills that men endure,
A neighbouring wood, born with himself, he sees, The only cheap and universal cure !
And loves his old contemporary trees.
Thou manna, which from Heaven we eat, Does with a like concernment notice take
Of the Red-sea, and of Benacus' lake.
And sees a long posterity of boys. Thou pleasant, honest flatterer ! for none
About the spacious world let others roam,
The voyage, life, is longest made at home.
Who out of Fortune's reach dost stand, Well, then; I now do plainly see
This busy world and I shall ne'er agree;
The very honey of all earthly joy We certain are to gain,
Does of all meats the soonest cloy ; Whether she her bargain break or else fulfil ;
And they, methinks, deserve my pity, Thou only good, not worse for ending ill!
Who for it can endure the stings,
The crowd, and buzz, and murmurings,
Of this great hive, the city.
Ah, yet, ere I descend to th' grave,
May I a small house and large garden have ! Happiness itself's all one
And a few friends, and many books, both true, In thee, or in possession !
Both wise, and both delightful too!
And, since love ne'er will from me flee,
And good as guardian-angels are
Only belov'd, and loving me! Hope! thou sad lovers' only friend !
Oh, fountains ! when in you shall I Thou Way, that may'st dispute it with the End ! Myself, eas'd of unpeaceful thoughts, espy? For love, I fear, 's a fruit that does delight On fields! oh woods! when, when shall I be made The taste itself less than the smell and sight.
The happy tenant of your shade ?
Here's the spring-head of Pleasure's flood; Though so exalted she, Where all the riches lie, that she
And I so lowly be, Has coin'd and stamp'd for good.
Tell her, such different notes make all thy har.
mony. Pride and ambition here Only in far-fetch'd metaphors appear ;
Hark! how the strings awake: Here nought but winds can hurtful murmurs scatter, And, though the moving hand approach not near, And nought but Echo flatter.
Themselves with awful fear, The gods, when they descended, hither
A kind of numerous trembling make. From Heaven did always chuse their way;
Now all thy forces try, And therefore we may boldly say,
Now all thy charms apply, That 'tis the way too thither.
Revenge upon her ear the conquests of her eye. How happy here should I,
Weak Lyre ! thy virtue sure
To cure, but not to wound,
And she to wound, but not to cure. I should have then this only fear
Too weak too wilt thou prove Lest men, when they my pleasures see,
My passion to remove, Should hither throng to live like me,
Physic to other ills, thou’rt nourishment to love. And so make a city here.
Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre !
In sounds that will prevail;
Nor gentle thoughts in her inspire: Awake, awake, my Lyre !
All thy vain mirth lay by, And tell thy silent master's humble tale
Bid thy strings silent lie, In sounds that may prevail ;
Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre; and let thy master Sounds that gentle thoughts inspire:
FROM THE DAVIDEIS.
John Milton, a poet of the first rank in eminence, poem, of great elegance. He left Italy by the way of was descended from an ancient family, settled at Geneva, where he contracted an acquaintance with Milton, in Oxfordshire. His father, whose de- two learned divines, John Diodati and Frederic sertion of the Roman Catholic faith was the cause Spanheim; and he returned through France, having of his disinheritance, settled in London as a scri- been absent about a year and three months. vener, and marrying a woman of good family, had On his arrival, Milton found the nation agitated two sons and a daughter. John, the eldest son, by civil and religious disputes, which threatened a was born in Bread-street, on December 9. 1608. crisis ; and as he had expressed himself impatient to He received the rudiments of learning from a be present on the theatre of contention, it has been domestic tutor, Thomas Young, afterwards chap- thought extraordinary that he did not immediately lain to the English merchants at Hamburg, whose place himself in some active station. But his turn merits are gratefully commemorated by his pupil, was not military ; his fortune precluded a seat in in a Latin elegy. At a proper age he was sent to parliament ; the pulpit he had declined; and for the St. Paul's school, and there began to distinguish bar he had made no preparation. His taste and himself by his intense application to study, as well habits were altogether literary; for the present, as by his poetical talents. In his sixteenth year he therefore, he fixed himself in the metropolis, and was removed to Christ's college, Cambridge, where undertook the education of his sister's two sons, of he was admitted a pensioner, under the tuition of the name of Philips. Soon after, he was applied to Mr. W. Chappel.
by several parents to admit their children to the Of his course of studies in the university little is benefit of his tuition. He therefore took a comknown; but it appears, from several exercises pre- modious house in Aldersgate-street, and opened an served in his works, that he had acquired extraor- academy. Disapproving the plan of education in dinary skill in writing Latin verscs, which are of a the public schools and universities, he deviated from purer taste than any preceding compositions of the it as widely as possible. He put into the hands kind by English scholars. · He took the degrees of his scholars, instead of the common classics, such both of Bachelor and Master of Arts; the latter in Greek and Latin authors as treated on the arts and 1632, when he left Cambridge. He renounced his sciences, and on philosophy ; thus expecting to inoriginal intention of entering the church, for which stil the knowledge of things with that of words. We he has given as a reason, that, “coming to some are not informed of the result of his plan; but it maturity of years, he had perceived what tyranny will appear singular that one who had himself drunk had invaded it;" which denotes a man early habitu- so deeply at the muse's fount, should withhold the ated to think and act for himself.
draught from others. We learn, however, that he perHe now returned to his father, who had retired formed the task of instruction with great assiduity. from business to a residence at Horton, in Buck Milton did not long suffer himself to lie under inghamshire; and he there passe five years in the the reproach of having neglected the public cause in study of the best Roman and Grecian authors, and his private pursuits ; and, in 1641, he published in the composition of some of his finest miscella- four treatises relative to church-government, in neous poems. This was the period of his Allegro which he gave the preponderance to the presbyteand Penseroso, his Comus and Lycidas. That his rian form above the episcopalian. Resuming the learning and talents had at this time attracted con same controversy in the following year, he numsiderable notice, appears from an application made bered among his antagonists such men as Bishop to him from the Bridgewater family, which pro- Hall and Archbishop Usher. His father, who had duced his 'admirable masque of “ Comus,” per- been disturbed by the king's troops, now came to formed in 1634, at Ludlow Castle, before the Earl | live with him; and the necessity of a female head of of Bridgewater, then Lord President of Wales; and such a house, caused Milton, in 1643, to form a conalso by his “ Arcades,” part of an entertainment nection with the daughter of Richard Powell, Esq., presented to the Countess Dowager of Derby, at a magistrate of Oxfordshire. This was, in several Harefield, by some of her family.
respects, an unhappy marriage ; for his father-inIn 1638, he obtained his father's leave to improve law was a zealous royalist, and his wife had achimself by foreign travel, and set out for the con- customed herself to the jovial hospitality of that tinent. Passing through France, he proceeded to party. She had not, therefore, passed above a Italy, and spent a considerable time in that seat of month in her husband's house, when, having prothe arts and of literature. At Naples he was kindly cured an invitation from her father, she went to pass received by Manso, Marquis of Villa, who had the summer in his mansion. Milton's invitations long before deserved the gratitude of poets by his for her return were treated with contempt; upon patronage of Tasso; and, in return for a laudatory which, regarding her conduct as a desertion which distich of Manso, Milton addressed to him a Latin broke the nuptial contract, he determined to punish