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GIOVANE piano, e semplicette amante
De pensieri leggiadro, accorto, e buono;
Sol troverete in tal parte men duro,
ON HIS BEING ARRIVED TO THE AGE of 23*. 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, That I to manhood am arriv'd so near;
And inward ripeness doth much less appear,
It shall be still in strictest measure even
Tow'rd which Time leads me, and the Will of
As ever in my great Task-Master's eye.
* Written at Cambridge in 1631, and sent in a letter to a friend, who had importuned Milton to take orders.
WHEN THE ASSAULT WAS INTENDED TO THE CITY*.
CAPTAIN, or Colonel, or Knight in arms,
[seize, Whose chance on these defenceless doors may If deed of honour did thee ever please, Guard them, and him within protect from harms. He can requite thee; for he knows the charms That call Fame on such gentle acts as these, And he can spread thy name o'er lands and seas, Whatever clime the sun's bright circle warms. Lift not thy spear against the Muses' bower: The great Emathian conqueror bid spare The house of Pindarus, when temple' and tower Went to the ground; and the repeated air Of sad Electra's poet had the power To save the' Athenian walls from ruin bare.
TO A VIRTUOUS YOUNG LADY.
LADY, that in the prime of earliest youth
To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light,
In 1642; the King's army having arrived at Brentford, and thrown the city of London into great consternation.
And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be sure Thou, when the bridegroom with his feastful friends Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night,
Hast gain'd thy entrance, Virgin wise and pure.
TO THE LADY MARGARET LEY*.
DAUGHTER to that good Earl, once President
Kill'd with report that old man eloquent.†
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. Newton. Isocrates, the orator. The Victory was gained by Philip of Macedon over the Athenians,
ON THE DETRACTION WHICH FOLLOWED UPON MY WRITING CERTAIN TREATISES.
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, Numbering good intellects; now seldom por❜d on. Cries the stall-reader, 'Bless us! what a word on A title-page is this!' and some in file
Stand spelling false, while one might walk to MileEnd Green. Why is it harder, Sirs, than Gordon, Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp?† [sleek, Those rugged names to our like mouths grow That would have made Quintilian stare and gasp, Thy age, like ours, O soul of Sir John Cheek,+ Hated not learning worse than toad or asp, When thou taught'st Cambridge, and King Edward, Greek.
This was one of Milton's books, published in consequence of his divorce from his first wife. Tetrachordon signifies Expositions on the four chief places in Scripture which mention marriage, or nullities in marriage. Warton.
+ Milton is here collecting, from his hatred to the Scots, what he thinks Scotish names of an ill sound. Colkitto and Macdonnel, are one and the same person; a brave officer on the royal side, an Irishman of the Antrim family, who served under Montrose. The Macdonalds of that family are styled, by way of distinction, Mac Collcittok, i. e. descendants of lame Colin. Galasp, or George Gillespie, was a Scotish writer against the Independents, and one of the members of the Assembly of Divines. Warton.
The first professor of the Greek tongue in the university of Cambridge, and was afterwards made one of the tutors to Edward VI. See his Life by Strype, or in the Biographia Britannica.
ON THE SAME.
I DID but prompt the age to quit their clogs
When straight a barbarous noise environs me
Which after held the sun and moon in fee. But this is got by casting pearl to hogs; That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood, And still revolt when truth would set them free. License they mean when they cry Liberty; For who loves that, must first be wise and good: But from that mark how far they rove we see, For all this waste of wealth, and loss of blood.
TO MR. H. LAWES, ON THE PUBLISHING HIS AIRS. Written 1645.
HARRY, whose tuneful and well-measur'd song
That with smooth air could humour best our