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POEMS ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS.
THE STATIONER TO THE READER. refixed to the first Edition of Milton's Poems, printed in 1645.)
is not any private respect of gain, gentle Reader, for the slightest pamphlet is now-a-days more vendible than the works of learnedest men; but it is the love I have to our own language, that hath made me diligent to collect and set forth such pieces both in prose and verse, as may renew the wonted honour and esteem of our English tongue: and it's the worth of these both English and Latin poems, not the flourish of any prefixed encomiums that can invite thee to buy them, though these are not without the highest commendations and applause of the learnedest Academics, both domestic and foreign; and amongst those of our own country, the unparallel'd attestation of that renowned Provost of Eton, Sir Henry Wotton. I know not thy palate how it relishes such dainties, nor how harmonious thy soul is, 'perhaps more trivial airs may please thee better. But howsoever thy opinion is spent upon these, that encouragement I have already received from the most ingenious men in their clear and courteous entertainment of Mr. Waller's late choice picces, hath once MILTON. VOL. IV. B
more more made me adventure into the world, presenting it with these ever-green, and not to be blasted laurels. The author's more peculiar excellency in these studies was too well known to conceal his papers, or to keep me from attempt. ing to solicit them from him. Let the event guide itself which way it will, I shall deserve of the age, by bringing into the light as 'true a birth as the Muses have brought forth since our famous Spenser wrote ; whose poems in these English ones are as rarely imitated as sweetly excell'd. Reader, if thou art eagle-ey'd to censure their worth, I am not fearful to expose them to thy exactest perusal.
ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS.
Anno ætatis 17. On the death of a fair Infant,
dying of a cough.
FAIREST flower! no sooner blown but blasted, ft silken primrose fading timelessly, immer's chief honour, if thou hadst out-lasted leak Winter's force that made thy blossom dry; or he being amorous on that lovely dye
That did 'thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss, at kill'd, alas, and then bewail'd his fatal bliss,
or since grim Aquilo his charioteer
Of long uncoupled bed, and childless eld, Vhich ’mongst the wanton gods a foul reproach
[was held. o mounting up in icy-pearled car, Through middle empire of the freezing air le wander'd long, till thee he spy'd from far: There ended was his quest, there ceas'd his care. Down he descended from his snow-soft chair,