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Then rough-hewn, and lastly rugged. All in
Title. "To my friend Mr. Hen. Lawes, feb.
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 8th
sonnet is written.
All in Milton's own hand.
Ver. 3. Words with just notes, which till then
With Midas' eares, misjoining short
In the first of these lines "When most were wont to scan" had also been written.
Ver. 6. And gives thee praise above the pipe of
To after age thou shalt be writ a man,
Thou honourst vers, &c.
Ver. 12. Fame, by the Tuscan's leav, shall set
Than old Gasell, whom Dante woo'd to
There are three copies of this sonnet; two in
From ver. 1. to ver. 8, as now printed.
So it was at first written, afterwards corrected to
he retired to Chalfont in Buckinghamshire on account of the plague; and to have been seen inscribed on the glass of a window in that place. I have seen a copy of it written, apparently in a coeval hand, at the end of Tonson's edition of Milton's Sinaller Poems in 1713, where it is also said to be Milton's. It is re-printed from Dr. Birch's Life of the poet, in Fawkes and Woty's Poetical Calendar, 1763, vol. viii. p. 67. But, in this sonnet, there is a scriptural mistake; which, as Mr. Warton has observed, Milton was not likely to commit. For the Sonnet improperly represents David as punished by pestilence for his adultery with Bathsheba. Mr. Warton, 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, varies from the construction of the legitimate sonnet, in consisting of only ten lines, instead of fourteen.
Fair mirrour of foul times! whose fragile sheen'
Who Heaven's lore reject for brutish sense;
Then, laughing, they repeat my languid lays—
But we must understand ere we comply!"
When, in your language, Iunskill'd address
The short-pac'd efforts of a trammell'd Muse; Soft Italy's fair critics round me press,
And my mistaking passion thus accuse.
"Why, to our tongue's disgrace, does thy dumb
And point his purpose at the hearer's heart.”
Do thou, my soul's soft hope, these triflers awe;
ON THE MORNING OF
THIS is the month, and this the happy morn
That he our deadly forfeit should release,
In the concluding note on the seventh Sonnet,
it has been observed that other Italian sonnets
poem is entitled, A fragment of Milton, from IT was the winter wild,
While the Heaven-born child
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies;
With her great Master so to sympathize:
That glorious form, that light unsufferable,
Forsook the courts of everlasting day,
And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.
Afford a present to the Infant-God?
welcome him to this his new abode,
See, how from far, upon the eastern road,
And join thy voice unto the angel-quire, From out his secret altar touch'd with hallow'd fire.
'This ode, in which the many learned allusions are highly poetical, was probably composed as a college-exercise at Cambridge, our author being now only twenty-one years old. In the edition of 1645, in its title it is said to have been written in 1629.
And, though the shady gloom
Had given day her room,
The Sun himself withheld his wonted speed,
And hid his head for shame,
As his inferior flame
The shepherds on the lawn,
Sat simply chatting in a rustic row
When such music sweet
As never was by mortal finger strook;
As all their souls in blissful rapture took:
With thousand echoes still prolongs each heavenly close.
Nature that heard such sound,
Was kindly come to live with them below;
Of Cynthia's seat, the aery region thrilling, Now was almost won
To think her part was done,
And that her reign had here its last fulfilling ; She knew such harmony alone
Could hold all Heaven and Earth in happier union.
At last surrounds their sight
A globe of circular light,
That with long beams the shamefac'd night The helmed Cherubim, [array'd; [play'd,
And sworded Seraphim,
Are seen in glittering ranks with wings dis-
With unexpressive notes, to Heaven's new-born
Such music (as 'tis said)
Before was never made,
But when of old the sons of morning sung, While the Creator great
His constellations set,
The stars, with deep amaze,
Stand fix'd in stedfast gaze,
Bending one way their precious influence;
Or Lucifer that often warn'd them thence;
Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them For, if such holy song
And the well-balanc'd world on hinges hung; And cast the dark foundations deep,
And bid the weltering waves their oozy channel keep.
Ring out, ye crystal spheres,
If ye have power to touch our senses so
And let your silver chime
Move in melodious time;
And let the base of Heaven's deep organ blow;
And, with your ninefold harmony,
The new-enlighten'd world no more should need:
Than his bright throne, or burning axletree, Yea, Truth and Justice then
Will down return to men,
Enwrap our fancy long,
Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold; And speckled Vanity
Will sicken soon and die,
And leprous Sin will melt from earthly mould; And Hell itself will pass away,
And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day.
Orb'd in a rainbow; and, like glories wearing, Mercy will sit between,
Thron'd in celestial sheen,
With radiant feet the tissued clouds down
But wisest Fate says no,
This must not yet be so,
The babe yet lies in smiling infancy,
That on the bitter cross
His burning idol all of blackest hue;
Must redeem our loss;
So both himself and us to glorify:
In dismal dance about the furnace blue
The wakeful trump of doom must thunder Isis, and Orus, and the dog Anubis, haste.
Nor is Osiris seen
In Memphian grove or green,
Trampling the unshower'd grass with lowings loud:
Nor can he be at rest
Within his sacred chest ;
When, at the world's last session,
Nought but profoundest Hell can be his shroud,
With such a horrid clang
While the red fire and smouldering clouds out
The aged Earth aghast
With terrour of that blast,
Shall from the surface to the centre shake;
And then at last our bliss
Full and perfect is,
But now begins; for, from this happy day,
Not half so far casts his usurped sway;
He feels from Juda's land
The dreaded infant's hand,
The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn; Nor all the gods beside
Longer dare abide,
Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine: Our babe, to show his Godhead true.
Can in his swaddling bands controll the damned