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Lord, 'tis thy plenty-dropping hand Of balm, of oil, of spice, and ambergris. That soils my land,

I sing of times trans shifting; and I write And giv'st me, for my bushel sown, How roses first came red, and lilies white. Twice ten for one;

I write of groves, of twilights, and I sing Thou mak'st my teeming hen to lay The court of Mab, and of the Fairy King. Her egg each day;

I write of Hell; I sing, and ever shall Besides, my healthful ewes to bear Of Heaven, — and hope to have it after

Me twins each year;
The while the conduits of my kine
Run cream for wine :

TO BLOSSOMS.
All these, and better, thou dost send
Me, to this end, -

Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,
That I should render, for my part,

Why do ye fall so fast?
A thankful heart;

Your date is not so past,
Which, fired with incense, I resign, But you may stay yet here awhile
As wholly thine;

To blush and gently smile,
But the acceptance, that must be,

And go at last.
My Christ, by Thee.

What, were ye born to be,

An hour or half's delight, DELIGHT IN DISORDER.

And so to bid good-night?

'Twas pity Nature brought ye forth, A SWEET disorder in the dress

Merely to show your worth
Kindles in clothes a wantonness;

And lose you quite.
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction;

But you are lovely leaves, where we An erring lace, which here and there

May read, how soon things have Enthrals the crimson stomacher;

Their end, though ne'er so brave: A cuff neglectful, and thereby

And after they have shown their pride, Ribbons to flow confusedly;

Like you, awhile, they glide A winning wave, deserving note,

Into the grave.
In the tempestuous petticoat;
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility;
Do more bewitch me, than when art TO PRIMROSES FILLED WITH
Is too precise in every part.

MORNING DEW.
Why do ye weep, sweet babes ? can tears

Speak grief in you,
THE ARGUMENT OF THE

Who were but born
HESPERIDES.

Just as the modest morn
I SING of brooks, of blossoms, birds, and Teem'd her refreshing dew?
bowers,

Alas, you have not known that shower Of April, May, of June, and July-flowers; That mars a flower, I sing of May-poles, hock-carts, wassails, Nor felt th' unkind wakes,

Breath of a blasting wind, Of bride-grooms, brides, and of their Nor are ye worn with years; bridal-cakes.

Or warp'd as we,
I write of Youth, of Love; — and have Who think it strange to see,

Such pretty flowers, like to orphans By these to sing of cleanly wantonness;

young, I sing of dews, of rains, and, piece by to speak by tears, befo.e ye have a piece,

tongue.

access

Good-morrow to this primrose too;

Good-morrow to each maid That will with flowers the tomb bestrew

Wherein my love is laid.

Speak, whimp'ring younglings, and

make known
The reason why

Ye droop and weep;
Is it for want of sleep,
Or childish lullaby?
Or that ye have not seen as yet

The violet?

Or brought a kiss
From that Sweet-heart, to this?
No, no, this sorrow shown

By your tears shed,
Would have this lecture read,
That things of greatest, so of meanest

worth, Conceived with grief are, and with tears

brought forth.

Ah, woe is me; woe, woe is me;

Alack and well-a-day!
For pity, sir, find out that bee

Which bore my love away.
I'll seek him in your bonnet brave;

I'll seek him in your eyes;
Nay, now I think they've made his grave

In the bed of strawberries.

I'll seek him there, I know ere this

The cold, cold earth doth shake him; But I will go, or send a kiss

By you, sir, to awake him. Pray hurt him not; though he be dead,

He knows well who do love him, And who with green turfs rear his head,

And who so rudely move him. He's soft and tender, pray take heed;

With bands of cowslips bind him, And bring him home; but 'tis decreed

That I shall never find him.

NIGHT-PIECE TO JULIA. Her eyes the glow-worm lend thee, The shooting stars attend thee;

And the elves also,

Whose little eyes glow
Like the sparks of fire, befriend thee.
No Will-o'-the-wisp mislight thee,
Nor snake or slow-worm bite thee!

But on, on thy way,

Not making a stay, Since ghost there is none to affright thee. Let not the dark thee cumber; What though the moon does slumber?

The stars of the night

Will lend thee their light,
Like tapers clear without number.
Then Julia let me woo thee,
Thus, thus to come unto me;

And, when I shall meet

Thy silvery feet,
My soul I'll pour into thee.

TO DAFFODILS. Fair daffodils, we weep to see

You haste away so soon;
As yet the early rising sun
Has not attained his noon.

Stay, stay,
Until the hasting day

Has run
But to the even-song!
And, having prayed together, we

Will go with you along.
We have short time to stay as you,

We have as short a spring,
As quick a breath to meet decay,
As you, or any thing.

We die
As your hours do, and dry

Away,
Like to the summer's rain,
Or as the pearls of morning dew,

Ne'er to be found again.

THE MAD MAID'S SONG. GOOD-MORROW to the day so fair,

Good-morrow, sir, to you; Good-morrow to my own torn hair,

Będabbled all with dew.

JOHN MILTON.

1608–1674.

(JOHN MILTON (1608-1674) was born in Bread Street, Cheapside, 2.Dec., 1608. Educated at St. Paul's School, and Christ's College, Cambridge, he was destined by his family for the Church. From this, however, he was diverted, partly by his strong Puritan bias, partly by an ambition which possessed him from a very early period, to compose a great work which should bring honor to his country and to the English language. Full of this lofty purpose, he retired to his father's country residence at Horton, in the county of Bucks. Here he gave himself up to study, and poetical meditation, in preparation for the work to which he had resolved to devote his life.

This residence at Horton constitutes Milton's first poetic period, 1632-1638. During these six years he wrote L'Allegro and Il Penseroso, Arcades, Comus, and Lycidas. All these were thrown off by their author as occasional pieces, exercises for practice, preluding to the labor of his life, which he was all the while meditating.

A journey to Italy, 1638-9, was undertaken as a portion of the poet's education which he was giving himself. He was recalled from his tour by the lowering aspect of public affairs at home. For the next twenty years his thoughts were diverted from poetry by the absorbing interest of the civil struggle. His time was occupied, partly by official duties as Latin secretary to the Council of the Commonwealth, partly by the voluntary share he took in the controversies of the time.

The public cause to which he had devoted himself being lost, and the ruin of his party consummated in 1660, Milton reverted to his long-cherished poetical scheme. During the twenty years of political agitation this scheme had never been wholly banished from his thoughts. After much hesitation, " long choosing and beginning late," both subject and form had been decided on. The poem was to be an epic, and was to treat of the fall and recovery of man. He had begun to compose on this theme as early as 1658, and in 1665 Paradise Lost was completed. Owing to the Plague and the Fire, it was not published till August, 1667. It was originally in ten books, which were afterwards made into twelve, as the normal epical number by subdividing books 7 and 10. The subject of the recovery of man had been dropped out of the plan at an early stage, and was afterwards made the subject of a second poem, Paradise Regained, on a hint given by Milton's young quaker friend, Ellwood. These years of disaster and distress, 1665-6, were specially prolific, if, as is probable, both Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes were written during them. The two poems came out in one vol. in 1671, and closed Milton's second poetic period. He lived three years longer, during which he occupied himself with carrying through the press a new edition of his Poems (the ist ed. was 1645) as well as several compilations, which furnished mental occupation without requiring inventive power. He died, 8 Nov., 1674.]

THE INVOCATION AND

INTRODUCTION.

[From Paradise Lost.]
Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our

woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,
Sing, heavenly Muse, that on the secret

top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That shepherd, who first taught the

chosen seed,
In the beginning, how the Heavens and

Earth
Rose out of Chaos: or, if Sion bill
Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that

flow'd
Fast by the oracle of God; I thence

Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,
That with no middle Aight intends to soar
Above the Aonian mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in prose or

rhyme.
And chiefly thou, O Spirit, that dost

prefer Before all temples the upright heart and

pure, Instruct me, for thou know'st; thou from

the first Wast present, and, with mighty wings

out-spread, Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast

abyss
And mad'st it pregnant: what in me is

dark
Illumine; what is low raise and support;
That to the height of this great argument
I may assert eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to man.

pine

Say first, for Heaven hides nothing At evening from the top of Fesolé, from thy view,

Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands, Nor the deep tract of Hell; say first, Rivers, or mountains, in her spotty globe. what cause

His spear, to equal which the tallest Moved our grand parents, in that happy state,

Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the Favor'd of Heaven so highly, to fall off mast From their Creator, and transgress his Of some great ammiral, were but a wand, will

He walk'd with, to support uneasy steps, For one restraint, lords of the world be- Over the burning marle, not like those sides?

steps Who first seduced them to that foul re- On Heaven's azure; and the torrid volt?

clime The infernal serpent; he it was, whose Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with guile,

fire : Stirr'd up with envy and revenge, de- Nathless he so endured till on the beach ceived

Of that inflaméd sea he stood, and call's The mother of mankind, what time his His legions, angel forms, who lay inpride

tranced, Had cast him out of Heaven, with all Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the his host

brooks Of rebel angels; by whose aid, aspiring In Vallombrosa, where the Etrurian To set himself in glory above his peers,

shades, He trusted to have equalled the Most High over-arch’d, imbower; or scatHigh,

ter'd sedge If he opposed; and, with ambitious aim Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion Against the throne and monarchy of God, arm'd Raised impious war in Heaven, and bat- Hath vex'd the Red-Sea coast, whose

waves o'erthrew With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Busiris and his Memphian chivalry, power

While with perfidious hatred they purHurl'd headlong flaming from the ethe- sued real sky,

The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld With hideous ruin and combustioni, down From the safe shore their floating carTo bottomless perdition; there to dwell In adamantine chains and penal fire, And broken chariot wheels : so thick Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms.

bestrewn, Abject and lost lay these, covering the

flood, THE FALLEN ANGELS IN THE

Under amazement of their hideous

change. BURNING LAKE.

He call’d so loud, that all the hollow deep THE superior fiend Of Hell resounded. “Princes, potenWas moving toward the shore: his pon- tates, derous shield,

Warriors, the flower of Heaven, once Ethereal temper, massy, large and round,

yours, now lost, Behind him cast; the broad circumfer- If such astonishment as this can seize

Eternal spirits; or have ye chosen this Hung on his shoulder, like the moon, place, whose orb

After the toil of battle to repose Through optic glass the Tuscan artist Your wearied virtue, for the ease you views

find

tle proud,

cases

ence

more

To slumber here, as in the vales of Did first create your leader; next, free Heaven?

choice, Or in this abject posture have ye sworn, With what besides in counsel or in fight T'adore the Conqueror? who now be- Hath been achieved of merit; yet this holds

loss Cherub and seraph rolling in the flood Thus far at least recover'd, hath much With scatter'd arms and ensigns, till anon

Establish'd in a safe unenvied throne, His swift pursuers, from Heaven-gates, Yielded with full consent. The happier discern

state Th' advantage, and, descending, tread | In Heaven, which follows dignity, might us down

draw Thus drooping, or with linkéd thunder- Envy from each inferior; but who here bolts

Will envy whom the highest place exTransfix us to the bottom of this gulf.

poses Awake, arise, or be for ever fallen!” Foremost to stand against the Thunder

er's aim, Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest

share SATAN PRESIDING IN THE IN

Of endless pain? Where there is then FERNAL COUNCIL.

no good HIGH on a throne of royal state which For which to strive, no strife can grow

far Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of From faction; for none sure will claim Ind,

in Hell Or where the gorgeous East with richest Precedence; none whose portion is so hand

small Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and Of present pain, that with ambitious gold,

mind Satan exalted sat, by merit raised

Will covet more. With this advantage To that bad eminence: and, from de- then spair

To union, and firm faith, and firm acThus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires cord, Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue

More than can be in heaven, we now Vain war with Heaven, and, by success return untaught,

To claim our just inheritance of old, His proud imaginations thus display'd: Surer to prosper than prosperity "Powers and dominions, deities of Could have assur'd us; and, by what

Heaven; For since no deep within her gulf can Whether of open war, or covert guile, hold

We now debate: who can advise may Immortal vigor, though oppress’d and speak.”

up there

best way,

fall'n,

I give not Heaven for lost. From this

descent Celestial virtues rising, will appear More glorious and more dread than

from no fall, And trust themselves to fear no second

fate. Me though just right, and the fix'd laws

of Heaven,

ADDRESS TO LIGHT.
Hail, holy Light, offspring of Heaven,

first-born,
Or of the Eternal coeternal beam,
May I express thee unblamed? since

God is light,
And never but in unapproached light

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