Page images

9. Through sorrow and affliction great,

Mine eye grows dim and dead :
Lord, all the day I thee entreat,

My hands to thee I spread.
10. Wilt thou do wonders on the dead?

Shall the deceased arise,
And praise thee from their loathsome bed

With pale and hollow eyes ?
11. Shall they thy loving-kindness tell,

On whom the grave hath hold ?
Or they, who in perdition dwell,

Thy faithfulness unfold?
12. In darkness can thy mighty hand

Or wonderous acts be known?
Thy justice in the gloomy land

Of dark oblivion?
13. But I to thee, O Lord, do cry,

Ere yet my life be spent ;
And up to thee my prayer doth hie,

Each morn, and thee prevent.
14. Why wilt thou, Lord, my soul forsake,

And hide thy face from me,
15. That am already bruised, and shake

With terrour sent from thee?
Bruised, and afflicted, and so low

As ready to expire ;
While I thy terrours undergo,

Astonish'd with thine ire.
16. Thy fierce wrath over me doth flow;

Thy threatenings cut me through:
17. All day they round about me go;

Like waves they me pursue.
18. Lover and friend thou hast removed,

And sever'd from me far :
They Aly me now whom I have loved,

And as in darkness are.

This and the following Psalm were done by the author at fiftee

When the blest seed of Terah's faithful son,
After long toil, their liberty had won;
And past from Pharian fields to Canaan land,
Led by the strength of the Almighty's hand;
Jehovah's wonders were in Israel shown,

His praise and glory was in Israel known. • This and the following Psalm are Milton's earliest performances: wards translated into Greek.-T. Warton.


That saw the troubled sea, and shivering fled,
And sought to hide his froth-becurled head
Low in the earth; Jordan's clear streams recoil,
As a faint host that hath received the foil'.
The high, huge-bellied mountains skip, like rams
Amongst their ewes : the little hills, like lambs.
Why fled the ocean? And why skipt the mountains ?
Why turned Jordan toward his crystal fountains ?
Shake, Earth; and at the presence be aghast
Of Him that ever was, and aye shall last ;
That glassy floods from rugged rocks can crush,
And make soft rills from fiery flint-stones gush !






Let us, with a gladsome mind,
Praise the Lord, for he is kind :

For his mercies aye endure,

Ever faithful, ever sure.
Let us blaze his name abroad,
For of gods he is the God :

For his, &c.
O, let us his praises tell,
Who doth the wrathful tyrants quell :

For his, &c.
Who, with his miracles, doth make
Amazed heaven and earth to shake :

For his, &c.
Who, by his wisdom, did create
The painted heavens so full of state :

For his, &c.
Who did the solid earth ordain
To rise above the watery plain :

For his, &c.
Who, by his all-commanding might,
Did fill the new-made world with light :

For his, &c.
And caused the golden-tressed sun
All the day long his course to run :

For his, &c.
The horned moon to shine by night,
Amongst her spangled sisters bright:

For his, &c.
He, with his thunder-clasping hand,
Smote the first-born of Egypt-land :
For his, &c.

1 As a faint host that hath received the foil. * Foil” is defeat: a substantive used in the same sense by Harington in his “ Orlando Furioso," and by Shakspeare repeatedly.- Todd.




And, in despite of Pharaoh fell,
He brought from thence his Israel :

For his, &c.
The ruddy waves he cleft in twain
Of the Erythræan main :

For his, &c.
The floods stood still, like walls of glass,
While the Hebrew bands did pass :

For his, &c.
But full soon they did devour
The tawny king with all his power :

For his, &c.
His chosen people he did bless
In the wasteful wilderness :

For his, &c.
In bloody battle he brought down
Kings of prowess and renown:

For his, &c.
He foil'd bold Seon and his host,
That ruled the Amorrean coast :

For his, &c.
And large-limbid Og he did subdue,
With all his over-hardy crew:

For his, &c.
And, to his servant Israel,

their land therein to dwell:
For his, &c.
He hath, with a piteous eye,
Beheld us in our misery :

For his, &c.
And freed us from the slavery
Of the invading enemy :

For his, &c.
All living creatures he doth feed,
And with full hand supplies their need :

For his, &c.
Let us therefore warble forth
His mighty majesty and worth :

For his, &c.
That his mansion hath on high
Above the reach of mortal eye :
For his mercies aye endure,
Ever faithful, ever sure.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Hæc quæ sequuntur de Auctore testimonia, tametsi ipse intelligebat non tam de se quam supra se esse dicta, eo quod præclaro ingenio viri, necnon amici, ita fere solent laudare, ut omnia suis potius virtutibus, quam veritati congruentia, nimis cupide affingant; noluit tamen horum egregiam in se voluntatem non esse notam ; cum alii præsertim ut id faceret magnopere suaderent. Dum enim nimiæ laudis invidiam totis ab se viribus amolitur, sibique quod plus æquo est non attributum esse mavult, judicium interim hominum cordatorum atque illustrium quin summo sibi honori ducat, negare non potest.



Ut mens, forma, decor, facies, mos, si pietas sic,

Non Anglus, verum hercle Angelus, ipse fores.


Græca nimirum, Latina, atque Hetrusca, Epigramma Joannis Salsilli, Romani.

CEDE, Meles ; cedat depressa Mincius urna ;

Sebetus Tassum desinat usque loqui :
At Thamesis victor cunctis ferat altior undas,

Nam per te, Milto par tribus unus erit.


GRECIA Mæonidem, jactet sibi Roma Maronem ;

Anglia Miltonum jactat utrique parem.-SELVAGGI.


Ergimi all' Etra ò Clio
Perche di stelle intreccierò corona
Non più del Biondo Dio
La fronde eterna in Pindo, e in Elicona,
Diensi a merto maggior, maggiori i fregi,
A' celeste virtù celesti pregi.

Non pao del tempo edace
Rimaner preda, eterno alto valore
Non puo l'oblio rapace,
Furar dalle memorie eccelso onore,
Su l'arco di mia cetra un dardo forte
Virtù m'adatti, e ferirò la morte.
Del ocean profondo
Cinta dagli ampi gorghi Anglia resiede
Separata dal mondo,
Però che il suo valor l' umana eccede :
Questa feconda sa produrre Eroi,
Ch' hanno a ragion del sovruman tra noi.
Alla virtù sbandita
Danno ne i petti lor fido ricetto,
Quella gli è sol gradita,
Perche in lei san trovar gioia, e diletto;
Ridillo tu, Giovanni, e mostra in tanto
Con tua vera virtù, vero il mio Canto.
Lungi dal patrio lido
Spinse Zeusi l'industre ardente brama;
Ch'udio d' Helena il grido
Con aurea tromba rimbombar la fama,

per poterla effigiare al paro
Dalle più belle Idee trasse il più raro.
Cosi l'ape ingegnosa
Trae con industria il suo liquor pregiato
Dal giglio e dalla rosa,
E quanti vaghi fiori ornano il prato ;
Formano un dolce suon diverse chorde,
Fan varie voci melodia concorde.
Di bella gloria amante
Milton dal ciel natio per varie parti
Le peregrine piante
Volgesti a ricercar scienze, ed arti ;
Del Gallo regnator vedesti i regni,
E dell'Italia ancor gl Eroi più degni.
Fabro quasi divino
Sol virtù rintracciando il tuo pensiero
Vide in ogni confino
Chi di nobil valor calca il sentiero ;
L'ottimo dal miglior dopo scegleia
Per fabbricar d'ogni virtù l'idea.
Quanti nacquero in Flora
O in lei del parlar Tosco appreser l' arte,
La cui memoria onora
Il mondo fatta eterna in dotte carte,
Volesti ricercar per tuo tesoro,
E parlasti con lor nell' opre loro.
Nell' altera Babelle
Per te il parlar confuse Giove in vano,
Che per varie favelle
Di se stessa trofeo cadde su 'l piano :
Ch’ Ode oltr' all' Anglia il suo più degno idioma
Spagna, Francia, Toscana, e Grecia, e Roma.

« PreviousContinue »