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Thy worth and skill exempts thee from the throng,

With praise enough for envy to look wan;
To after age thou shalt be writ the man, (tongue.

That with smooth air couldst humour best our Thou honour'st verse, and verse must lend her wing

To honour thee, the priest of Phæbus' quire,

That tun'st their happiest lines in hymn, or story. Dante shall give fame leave to set thee higher

Than his Casella, whom he wood to sing
Met in the milder shades of Purgatory.

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XIV. ON THE RELIGIOUS MEMORY OF MRS.

CATHARINE THOMSON,

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MY CHRISTIAN FRIEND, DECEASED 16TH DEC. 1646.

WHEN faith and love, which parted from thee never,

Had ripend thy just soul to dwell with God,
Meekly thou didst resign this earthly load

Of death, call'd life; which us from life doth sever. Thy works, and alms, and all thy good endeavour,

Stay'd not behind, nor in the grave were trod;
But, as Faith pointed with her golden rod,
Follow'd thee up to joy and bliss for ever.

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5 exempts] Hor. Od. i. i. 32, ‘Secernunt populo. Richarrison.
7 writ] Hor. Od. i. vi. 1, · Scriberis Vario fortis,' &c. Newton.
9 honour'st] So Browne’s Brit. Past. B. ii. s. 11, of Lord Brooke,

Time shall see
Thee honord by thy verse, and it by thee.' Todd.
6 Stay’d] Orig. line in MS.
Straight follow'd thee the path that saints have trod.' Warton.

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VOL. II.

Love led them on, and Faith who knew them best

Thy handmaids, clad them o'er with purple beams

And azure wings, that up they flew so drest, And spake the truth of thee on glorious themes

Before the Judge, who thenceforth bid thee rest And drink thy fill of pure immortal streams.

XV. TO THE LORD GENERAL FAIRFAX.*

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Fairfax, whose name in arms through Europe rings,

Filling each mouth with envy or with praise,
And all her jealous monarchs with amaze

And rumours loud, that daunt remotest kings,
Thy firm unshaken virtue ever brings

Victory home, though new rebellions raise
Their Hydra heads, and the false North displays

Her broken league to imp their serpent wings.
O yet a nobler task awaits thy hand,

(For what can war, but endless war still breed ?) 14 drink] Epitaph. Damonis. 206. "Æthereos haurit latices.

Warton. * This Sonnet, as appears from Milton's MS. was addressed to Fairfax at the siege of Colchester, 1618. It was first printed, together with the two following sonnets, and the two to Cyriac Skinner, at the end of Philips's Life of Milton, 1694. Warton.

2 Filling] So the MS.: before, it was · And fills each mouth. Todd.

5 virtue] So the MS. : before, valour.' In the next line though? is admitted from the MS. instead of while.' Todd.

8 their] So the MS.: before, 'her.' Todd.
10 This and the following lines were thus in the printed copies :

For what can war, but acts of war still breed,
Till injured truth from violence be freed,
And public faith be rescued from the brand.' Newton.

Till truth and right from violence be freed,
And public faith clear'd from the shameful brand

Of public fraud. In vain doth valour bleed,
While avarice and rapine share the land.

XVI. TO THE LORD GENERAL CROMWELL.*

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CROMWELL, our chief of men, who through a cloud

Not of war only, but detractions rude,
Guided by faith and matchless fortitude,
To peace and truth thy glorious way hast plough’d,

, And on the neck of crowned fortune proud

Hast rear’d God's trophies, and his work pursued, While Darwen stream with blood of Scots im

brued, And Dunbar field resounds thy praises loud, And Worcester's laureat wreath. Yet much remains

* See Hollis's Memoirs, p. 511.
1 who, &c.] In the printed copy thus:

that through a crowd Not of war only, but distractions rude.' But a cloud of war' is a classical expression. Virg. Æn. x. 809. • Nubem belli.' Newton.

5 This and the following line were contracted in the printed copies of Philips, Toland, Tonson, Tickell, and Fenton, into

• And fought God's battles, and his works pursued. Warton. 7 Darwen] In the printed copies, 'Darwent. Newton.

9 And Worcester's laureat wreath.] This expression, though beautiful, is inaccurate; for a “laureat wreath' cannot, with propriety, be said to “resound his praises loud ;' but the inaccuracy arose from the alteration. The hemistich originally stood, · And twenty battles more,' which was flat enough.

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To conquer still; peace hath her victories

No less renown'd than war: new foes arise
Threatening to bind our souls with secular chains

Help us to save free conscience from the paw
Of hireling wolves, whose gospel is their maw.

XVII. TO SIR HENRY VANE THE YOUNGER.*

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VANE, young in years, but in sage counsel old,

Than whom a better senator ne'er held
The helm of Rome, when gowns not arms repell’d

The fierce Epirot and the African bold,
Whether to settle peace, or to unfold

The drift of hollow states hard to be spellid,
Then to advise how war may best upheld

Move by her two main nerves, iron and gold,
In all her equipage : besides to know

Both spiritual pow'r and civil, what each means, What severs each, thou hast learn'd, which few

have done :

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10 peace, &c.] In the printed copies, before Newton's edition, 'peace has her victories, no less than those of war; and afterwards, “in secular chains.' Todd. Compare Milton' Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 442; and Cas. Sarb. Carm. p. 323, ed. Barbou.

* This Sonnet seems to have been written in behalf of the Independents against the Presbyterian hierarchy. Vane was beheaded in 1662. Warton.

1 counsel] The printed copies, councils.' Newton. ? Then, &c.] In the printed copies,

• Then to advise how war may be best upheld

Mann'd by her two main nerves,' &c. Newton. 11 severs) •Serves. Printed edition. Newton.

The bounds of either sword to thee we owe:

Therefore on thy firm hand Religion leans
In peace, and reckons thee her eldest son.

XVIII. ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEMONT.

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AVENGE, O Lord, thy slaughter'd saints, whose bones

Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains cold;
Ev'n them who kept thy truth so pure of old,

When all our fathers worshipp'd stocks and stones, Forget not: in thy book record their groans

Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold
Slain by the bloody Piemontese that rollid

Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans The vales redoubled to the hills, and they

To Heav'n. Their martyrd blood and ashes sow

O'er all th' Italian fields, where still doth sway The triple tyrant; that from these may grow

A hundred fold, who having learn’d thy way
Early may fly the Babylonian woe.

XIX. ON HIS BLINDNESS.

When I consider how my light is spent

Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,

13 Therefore, &c.] In the printed copies:

• Therefore on thy right hand Religion leans,

And reckons thee in chief her eldest son.' Newton. 2 Alpine] Fairfax's Tasso, B. xiii. B. 60.

* Distillid from tops of Alpine mountains cold. Warton.

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