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JOHN MILTON.

TO MR. LAWRENCE.

LAWRENCE, of virtuous father virtuous son,
Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire,
Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire
Help waste a sullen day, what may be won
From the hard season gaining? Time will run
On smoother, till Favonius re-inspire
The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire
The lily and rose, that neither sow'd nor spun
What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,
Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise
To hear the lute well touch’d, or artful voice
Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air?
He who of those delights can judge, and spare
To interpose them oft, is not unwise,

JOHN MILTON.

TO CYRIACK SKINNER.

CYRIACK, whose grandsire, on the royal bench
Of British Themis, with no mean applause
Pronounc'd, and in his volumes taught, our laws,
Which others at their bar so often wrench ;
To day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench
In mirth, that after no repenting draws ;
Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause,
And what the Swede intends, and what the French.
To measure life learn thou betimes, and know
Toward solid good what leads the nearest way;
For other things mild Heaven a time ordains,
And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
That with superfluous burden loads the day,
And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.

JOHN MILTON.

TO CYRIACK SKINNER.

Cyriack, this three years day these eyes, though clear,
To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot;
Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear
Of sun, or moon, or star, throughout the year,
Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not
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.
This thought might lead me through the world's vain mask
Content though blind, had I no better guide.

JOHN MILTON.

ON HIS DECEASED WIFE.

Methought I saw my late espoused saint
Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave,
Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave,
Rescu'd 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 shin'd
So clear, as in no face with more delight.
But 0, as to embrace me she inclin'd,
I wak'd ; she fled ; and day brought back my night.

THOMAS EDWARDS.

TO RICHARD OWEN CAMBRIDGE, ESQ.

CAMBRIDGE, with whom, my pilot and my guide,
Pleas’d I have travers’d thy Sabrina's flood,
Both where she foams impetuous soil'd with mud,
And where she peaceful rolls her golden tide ;
Never, O never let ambition's pride,
(Too oft pretexed with our country's good)
And tinsell’d pomp, despis'd when understood,
Or thirst of wealth thee from her banks divide !
Reflect how calmly, like her infant wave,
Flows the clear current of a private life;
See the wide publick stream, by tempests tost,
Of every changing wind the sport or slave,
Soild with corruption, vex'd with party strife,
Cover'd with wrecks of peace and honour lost.

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