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Thou honour'st verse, and verse must lend her wing
ON THE RELIGIOUS MEMORY OF MRS. CATHERINE THOMSON, MY CHRISTIAN FRIEND.
Deceased, Dec. 16, 1646.*
WHEN Faith and Love, which parted from thee
Had ripen'd thy just soul to dwell with God,
Of death, call'd life; which us from life doth sever.
* Dr. Newton found in the accounts 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 was in all probability one of that family.
TO THE LORD GENERAL FAIRFAX.
FAIRFAX, whose name in arms through Europe rings,
Victory home, though new rebellions raise
(For what can war, but endless war still breed?) 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.
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 Derwen stream, with blood of Scots imbrued,
And Dunbar field resounds thy praises loud, And Worcester's laureat wreath. Yet much remains To conquer still: Peace hath her victories No less renown'd than War: new foes arise Threat'ning to bind our souls with secular chains: Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves, whose gospel is their maw.
TO SIR HENRY VANE THE YOUNGER."
VANE, young in years, but in sage counsel old,
The drift of hollow States hard to be spell'd;
Both spiritual power and civil, what each means, What severs each, thou' hast learn'd, which few have done:
The bounds of either sword to thee we owe :
* Sir Henry Vane the younger was the chief of the independents, and therefore Milton's friend. He was the contriver of the Solemn League and Covenant. In the pamphlets of that age he is called Sir Humorous Vanity. He was beheaded in 1662.
ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEDMONT, 1655.
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 worship'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 Piedmontese, that roll'd Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans The vales redoubled to the hills, and they
To Heav'n. Their martyr'd blood and ashes sow O'er all the' 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.
ON HIS BLINDNESS.
WHEN I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide, And that one talent which is death to hide, Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present My true account, lest he, returning, chide, 'Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?" I fondly ask: but, Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need
TO MR. LAWRENCE.
LAWRENCE, of virtuous father virtuous son,'
The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire
He who of those delights can judge, and spare To interpose them oft, is not unwise.
The virtuous son was author of a work 'Of our Communion and War with Angels,' printed in 1646. The father was member for Herefordshire, in the little Parliament which began in 1653, and was active in settling the protectorate of Cromwell; by whom he was made president of his Council.