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HERE lieth one, who did most truly prove
That he could never die, while he could move;
So hung his destiny, never to rot

While he might still jog on and keep his trot,
Made of sphere-metal, never to decay
Until his revolution was at stay.

Mark, what radiant state she spreads, In circle round her shining throne, Shooting her beams like silver threads; This, this is she alone,


Sitting like a goddess bright,

In the centre of her light.

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Who had thought this clime had held A deity so unparallel'd?



Time numbers motion, yet (without a crime
'Gainst old truth) motion number'd out his time:
And, like an engine mov'd with wheel and weight,
His principles being ceas'd, he ended straight. 10
Rest, that gives all men life, gave him his death,
And too much breathing put him out of breath;
Nor were it contradiction to affirm,
Too long vacation hasten'd on his term.
Merely to drive the time away he sicken'd,
Fainted, and died, nor would with ale be quicken'd;
Nay,' quoth he, on his swooning bed out-stretch'd,
"If I mayn't carry, sure I'll ne'er be fetch'd,
But vow, though the cross doctors all stood hearers,
For one carrier put down to make six bearers.' 20
Ease was his chief disease; and, to judge right,
He died for heaviness that his cart went light;
His leisure told him that his time was come,
And lack of load made his life burdensome,
That even to his last breath, (there be that say't)
As he were press'd to death, he cried, More
But, had his doings lasted as they were, [weight
He had been an immortal carrier.
Obedient to the moon he spent his date,

In course reciprocal, and had his fate

Link'd to the mutual flowing of the seas,
Yet (strange to think) his wain was his increase:
His letters are deliver'd all and gone,
Only remains this superscription.



Hobson was a carrier, and the first man in this island who let out hackney-horses. He lived in Cambridge; and observing that the scholars rid hard, his manner was, to keep a large stable of horses, with boots, bridles, and whips, to furnish the gentlemen at once, without going from college to college to borrow, as they have done since the death of this worthy man: I say, Mr. Hobson kept a stable of forty good cattle, always ready and fit for travelling: but when a man came for a horse, he was led into the stable, where there was great choice; but he obliged him to take the horse which stood next to the stable-door, so that every customer was alike well served, according to his chance, and every horse ridden with the same justice. From whence it became a proverb, when what ought to be your election was forced upon you, to say, Hobson's choice. This memorable man stands drawn in fresco at an inn (which he used) in Bishopsgate-street, with a hundred pound bag under his arm, with this inscription upon the said bag,

The fruitful mother of a hundred more."

As they come forward, the Genius of the Wood appears, and turning towards them, speaks.




STAY, gentle Swains; for, though in this disguise,
I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes;
Of famous Arcady ye are, and sprung
Of that renowned flood, so often sung,
Divine Alpheus, who by secret sluice
Stole under seas to meet his Arethuse;
And ye, the breathing roses of the wood,
Fair, silver-buskin'd Nymphs, as great and good;
I know, this quest of yours, and free intent,
Was all in honour and devotion meant
To the great mistress of yon princely shrine,
Whom with low reverence I adore as mine;
And with all helpful service will comply,
To further this night's glad solemnity;
And lead ye, where ye may more near behold
What shallow-searching Fame hath left untold;
Which I full oft, amidst these shades alone,
Have sat to wonder at, and gaze upon:
For know, by lot from Jove, I am the Power
Of this fair wood, and live in oaken bower,
To nurse the saplings tall, and curl the grove
With ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove.
And all my plants I save from nightly ill]
Of noisome winds, and blasting vapours chill:



This poem is only part of an Entertainment, or Mask, the rest probably being of a different nature, or composed by a different hand. This Countess Dowager of Derby, to whom it was presented, must have been Alice, daughter of Sir John Spencer of Althorp, Northamptonshire, and widow of Ferdinando Stanley, the fifth Earl of Derby. And as Harefield is in Middlesex, and, according to Camden, lieth a little to the north of Uxbridge, we may conclude, that Milton made this poem while he resided in that neighbourhood with his father at Horton near Colebrooke. It should seem too, that

it was made before the Mask at Ludlow, as it is a more imperfect essay. And Frances, the second daughter of this Countess-dowager of Derby, being married to John Earl of Bridgewater, before whom was presented the Mask at Ludlow, we may conceive in some measure how Milton was,induced to compose the one after the other. The alliance between the families naturally and easily accounts for it: and in all probability, the Genius of the wood in this poem, as well as the attendant Spirit in the Mask, was Mr. Henry Lawes, who was the great master of music at that time, and taught most of the young nobility.


And from the boughs brush off the evil dew,
And heal the arms of thwarting thunder blue,
Or what the cross, dire-looking planet smites,
Or hurtful worm with canker'd venom bites.
When evening gray doth rise, I fetch my round
Over the mount, and all this hallow'd ground; 55
And early, ere the odorous breath of morn
Awakes the slumb'ring leaves, or tassel'd horn
Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about,
Number my ranks, and visit every sprout
With puissant words, and murmurs made to bless :
But else in deep of night, when drowsiness
Hath lock'd up mortal sense, then listen I
To the celestial Syrens' harmony,
That sit upon the nine infolded spheres,
And sing to those that hold the vital shears,
And turn the adamantine spindle round,


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With lucky words favour my destin'd urn; And, as he passes, turn,


On which the fate of Gods and Men is wound.

Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie,

To lull the daughters of Necessity,



And keep unsteady Nature to her law,
And the low world in measur'd motion draw
After the heavenly tune, which none can hear
Of human mold with gross, unpurged ear;
And yet such music worthiest were to blaze
The peerless height of her immortal praise,
Whose lustre leads us, and for her most fit,
If my inferior hand or voice could hit
Inimitable sounds: yet, as we go,
Whate'er the skill of lesser gods can show,
I will assay, her worth to celebrate,
And so attend ye toward her glittering state;
Where ye may all, that are of noble stem,
Approach, and kiss her sacred vesture's hem.

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And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud.
For we were nurs'd upon the self-same hill,
Fed the same flock by fountain, shade, and rill.
Together both, ere the high lawns appear'd
Under the opening eye-lids of the morn,
We drove afield, and both together heard
What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn,
Battening our flocks, with the fresh dews of night,
Oft till the star that rose at evening, bright, 30
Tow'ard Heaven's descent had slop'd his west'ring

Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute,
Temper'd to th' oaten flute;

Rough Satyrs danc'd, and Fawns with cloven heel
From the glad sound would not be absent long; 35
And old Damotas lov'd to hear our song.

But, O the heavy change, now thou art gone, Now thou art gone, and never must return! Thee, Shepherd, thee the woods, and desert


With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown, And all their echoes mourn :

The willows, and hazel copses green,

Shall now no more be seen,


Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays.

As killing as the canker to the rose,



Or taint-worm to the weanling-herds that graze,

Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear, When first the white-thorn blows;

Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherds' ear.

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All Arcadia hath not seen.

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Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless


Clos'd o'er the head of your lov'd Lycidas?
For neither were ye playing on the steep,
Where your old bards, the famous Druids, lie,
Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high,

Nor yet where Deva spreads her wizard stream: 55
Ay me! I fondly dream!

Had ye been there-for what could that have done?
What could the Muse herself that Orpheus bore,
The Muse herself, for her enchanting son,
Whom universal Nature did lament,



When, by the rout that made the hideous roar, His gory visage down the stream was sent, Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore?

Alas! what boots it with incessant care

To tend the homely, slighted shepherd's trade, 65 And strictly meditate the thankless Muse?

Were it rot better done, as others use,

To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,


Though Syrinx your Pan's mistress were, Yet Syrinx well might wait on her.

Such a rural Queen

All Arcadia hath not seen.


In this Monody, the author bewails a learned friend, unfortunately drowned in his passage from Chester on the Irish seas, 1637: and by occasion foretells the ruin of our corrupted clergy, then in their height.

YET once more, O ye laurels, and once more
Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never-sere,
I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude;
And, with forc'd fingers rude,

This poem was made upon the unfortunate and untimely death of Mr. Edward King, son of Sir John King, Secretary for Ireland, a fellow collegian and intimate friend of Milton, who, as he was going to visit his relations in Ireland, was drowned Aug. 10, 1637, in the 25th year of his age. This poem is with great judgment made of the pastoral kind, as both Mr. King and Milton had been designed for holy orders and the pastoral care, which gives a peculiar propriety to several passages in it.

Or with the tangles of Neæra's hair?
Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise,
(That last infirmity of noble mind)
To scorn delights, and live laborious days;
But the fair guerdon when we hope to find,
And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
And slits the thin-spun life. But not the praise,
Comes the blind Fury with th' abhorred shears,
Phoebus replied, and touch'd my trembling ears;
Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil,
Nor in the glist'ring foil,



Set off to' the world, nor in broad rumour lies; 80
But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes,
And perfect witness of all-judging Jove
As he pronounces lastly on each deed,
Of so much fame in Heaven expect thy meed.
O fountain Arethuse, and thou honour'd flood,
Smooth-sliding Mincius, crown'd with vocal reeds,
That strain I heard was of a higher mood:
And listens to the herald of the sea
But now my oat proceeds,
That came in Neptune's plea ;
He ask'd the waves, and ask'd the felon winds,
What hard mishap hath doom'd this gentle swain?


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A sheep-hook, or have learn'd aught else the least
That to the faithful herdman's art belongs;
What recks it them? What need they? They are



And, when they list, their lean and flashy songs
Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw;
The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,
But, swoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw,
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread:
Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
Daily devours apace, and nothing said:
But that two-handed engine at the door
Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.
Return, Alpheus, the dread voice is past,
That shrunk thy streams; return, Sicilian Muse,
And call the vales, and bid them hither cast
Their bells and flowerets of a thousand hues.
Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers use
Of shades, and wanton winds, and gushing brooks,
On whose fresh lap the swart-star sparely looks,
Throw hither all your quaint enamell'd eyes, 139
That on the green-turf suck the honied showers,
And purple all the ground with vernal flowers.
Bring the rathe primrose that forsaken dies,
The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine,
The white pink, and the pansy freak'd with jet,
The glowing violet,

The musk-rose, and the well attir'd woodbine,
With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head,
And every flower that sad embroidery wears:
Bid amaranthus all his beauty shed,
And daffodillies fill their caps with tears,
To strew the Laureat herse where Lycid lies.
For, so to interpose a little ease,




Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise.
Ay me! whilst thee the shores and sounding seas
Wash far away, where'er thy bones are hurl'd, 155
Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides,
Where thou perhaps under the whelming tide
Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous world;
Or whether thou, to our moist vows denied,
Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old,
Where the great Vision of the guarded Mount,
Looks tow'rd Namancos and Bayona's hold;
Look homeward, Angel, now, and melt with ruth;
And, O ye dolphins, waft the hapless youth.
Weep no more, woeful shepherds, weep no





For Lycidas, your sorrow, is not dead,
Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor;
So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed,
And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky:
So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high, [waves,
Through the dear might of Him that walk'd the
Where other groves and other streams along.
With nectar pure his oozy locks he laves,
And hears th' unexpressive nuptial song,
In the bless'd kingdoms meek of joy and love.
There entertain him all the saints above,

In solemn troops, and sweet societies,


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BECAUSE you have thrown off your Prelate-Lord,
And with stiff vows renounc'd his Liturgy,
To seize the widow'd whore Plurality
From them whose sin ye envied, not abhorr'd;
Dare ye for this abjure the civil sword


To force our consciences that Christ set free, And ride us with a classic hierarchy, † Taught ye by mere A. S. and Rotherford? Men, whose life, learning, faith, and pure intent, Would have been held in high esteem with Paul, Must now be named and printed Heretics 11 By shallow Edwards and Scotch what d'ye call: But we do hope to find out all your tricks, Your plots and packing worse than those of Trent; That so the Parliament 15 May, with their wholesome and preventive shears, Clip your phylacteries, though balk your ears, And succour our just fears, When they shall read this clearly in your charge, 'New Presbyter is but Old Priest writ large.' 20

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This poem is supposed to have been made when the Directory was established, and disputes ran high between the Presbyterians and Independents in 1615, the latter pleading for a toleration, and the former against it.

In the Presbyterian form of government there are congregational, classical, provincial, and national assemblies.

It is not known who is meant by A. S. Mr. Samuel Rotherford was Professor of Divinity at St. Andrew's, and one of the Scotch commissioners to the Westminster assembly.

Mr. Thomas Edwards, author of the Gangræna.
Either Mr. Alexander Henderson or Mr.

That sing, and, singing, in their glory move, 180 George Gillespie, both commissioners to the West

And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes.

minster assembly.


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TO A VIRTUOUS YOUNG LADY. LADY, that in the prime of earliest youth Wisely hast shunn'd the broad way and the green, And with those few art eminently seen, That labour up the hill of heavenly truth; The better part with Mary and with Ruth Chosen thou hast; and they that overween, And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen, No anger find in thee but pity' and ruth. Thy care is fix'd, and zealously attends To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light, 10 And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be [friends Thou, when the Bridegroom, with his feastful Passes to bliss, at the mid hour of night, Hast gain'd thy entrance, Virgin wise and pure.



HOW soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stol'n on his wing my three-and-twentieth year!
My hasting days fly on with full career,
But my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th.
Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth, 5
That I to manhood am arriv'd so near;
And inward ripeness doth much less appear,
That some more timely-happy spirits endu❜th.
Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,


It shall be still in strictest measure even To that same lot, however mean or high, [ven; Toward which Time leads me, and the Will of HeaAll is, if I have grace to use it so, As ever in my great Task-Master's eye.

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TO THE LADY MARGARET LEY. DAUGHTER to that good Earl, once President Of England's Council, and her Treasury, Who liv'd in both, unstain'd with gold or fee, And left them both, more in himself content, Till the sad breaking of that Parliament Broke him, as that dishonest victory At Chæronea, fatal to liberty, Kill'd with report that old man eloquent. Though later born than to have known the days Wherein your father flourish'd, yet by you, Madam, methinks I see him living yet; So well your words his noble virtues praise, That all both judge you to relate them true, And to possess them, honour'd Margaret.



On the Detraction which followed upon the writing certain Treatises.t

A BOOK was writ of late call'd Tetrachordon, And woven close, both matter, form, and style; The subject new: it walk'd the Town awhile,

Manuscript, To the Lady Margaret Ley. She was We have given the title which is in Milton's the daughter of Sir James Ley, whose singular learning and abilities raised him through all the great posts of the law, till he came to be made Earl of Marlborough, and Lord High Treasurer, and Lord President of the Council to King James L. He died in an advanced age, and Milton attributes his death to the breaking of the parliament; and it is true that the parliament was dissolved the 10th of March, 1628-9, and he died on the 14th of the same month. He left several sons and daughters; and the Lady Margaret was married to Captain Hobson of the Isle of Wight. It appears from the accounts of Milton's life, that in the year 1643. he used frequently to visit this lady and her husband, and about that time we may suppose that this sonnet was composed.

+ When Milton published his book of Divorce, he was greatly condemned by the Presbyterian ministers, whose advocate and champion he had

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TO THE LORD GENERAL FAIRFAX. 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 ?) Till truth and right from violence be freed, 11 And public faith clear'd from the shameful brand Of public fraud. In vain doth valour bleed, While Avarice and Rapine share the land.

TO Mr. H. LAWES, ON HIS AIRS, 1645.‡ HARRY, whose tuneful and well-measur'd song First taught our English music how to span Words with just note and accent, not to scan With Midas' ears, committing short and long; 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, That with smooth air could humour best our tongue. [wing Thou honour'st verse, and verse must lend her To honour thee, the priest of Phoebus' quire, 10 That tun'st their happiest lines in hymn, or story. Dante shall give Fame leave to set thee higher Than his Casella, whom he woo'd to sing Met in the milder shades of Purgatory.

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been before. He published his Tetrachordon, or Expositions upon the four chief places in Scripture, which treat of marriage, or nullities in marriage, in 1645.

"We may suppose, (says Dr. Newton) that these were persons of note and eminence among the Scotch ministers who were for pressing and enforcing the covenant." Mr. George Gillespie, here wrongously named Galasp, was one of the Scotch commissioners to the Westminster assembly. But who the other persons were is not known. It appears from this sonnet, and the verses on the forcers of conscience, that Milton treats the Presbyterians with great contempt.

This Gentleman was the first Professor of the Greek tongue in the University of Cambridge, and was highly instrumental in bringing that language into repute. He was afterwards made one of the tutors to Edward VI.

This Mr. Henry Lawes was a gentleman of the king's chapel, and one of his band of music, and an intimate friend of Milton.

"Who this Mrs. Thomson was, (says Dr. Newton) we cannot be certain; but I find in the ac

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counts of Milton's life, that when he was first made Latin Secretary, he lodged at one Thomson's, next door to the Bull-head tavern at Charing-cross. This Mrs. Thomson, therefore was, in all probability, one of that family."

This sonnet appears, from the manuscript, to have been addressed to Gen. Fairfax, at the siege of Colchester, which was carried on in the summer, 1648.

+ In the Author's manuscript is this inscription: To the Lord General Cromwell, May 1652. On the proposals of certain ministers at the committee for propagation of the Gospel.

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