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And Worcester's laureat wreath. Yet much re
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.
TO SIR HENRY VANE THE YOUNGER.
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 spell'd; 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 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 :
ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEMONT.
AVENGE, O Lord! thy slaughter'd saints, whose
Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains cold;
Forget not in thy book record their
groans Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold Slain by the bloody Piemontese that roll'd Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans The vales redoubled to the hills, and they To Heaven. 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 hundredfold, who, having learn'd thy way, Early may fly the Babylonian woe.
ON HIS BLINDNESS.
WHEN I consider how my light is spent,
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
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.
TO CYRIAC SKINNER.
CYRIAC! whose grandsire, on the royal bench
To-day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench
TO THE SAME.
CYRIAC! this three years' day these eyes, though clear,
To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot Of heart or hope; but still bear up and steer Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask? The conscience, Friend! to' have lost them overplied
In liberty's defence, my noble task,
Of which all Europe rings from side to side.
Content though blind, had I no better guide.
ON HIS DECEASED WIFE".
METHOUGHT I saw my late espoused saint Brought to me, like Alcestes, from the grave, Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave, Rescued from death by force, though pale and faint.
Mine, as whom wash'd from spot of child-bed taint Purification in the' old Law did save,
And such, as yet once more I trust to have Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint, Came vested all in white, pure as her mind : Her face was veil'd; yet to my fancied sight Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shined So clear, as in no face with more delight.
But, O! as to embrace me she inclined, I waked; she fled; and day brought back my night.
6 This Sonnet was written about the year 1656, on the death of his second wife, Catharine, the daughter of Captain Woodcock, of Hackney, a rigid sectarist. She died in childbed of a daughter, within a year after their marriage. Milton had now been for some time totally blind.