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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;
Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,
Why do ye fall so fast?
Your date is not so past,
To blush and gently smile,
And go at last.
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
And lose you quite.
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.
Speak grief in you,
Who were but born
Just as the modest morn
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,
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,
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
Ye droop and weep;
Or brought a kiss
By your tears shed,
worth, Conceived with grief are, and with tears
Ah, woe is me; woe, woe is me;
Alack and well-a-day!
Which bore my love away.
I'll seek him in your eyes;
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
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,
And, when I shall meet
Thy silvery feet,
TO DAFFODILS. Fair daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
Will go with you along.
We have as short a spring,
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) 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
[From Paradise Lost.]
Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,
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
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
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.”
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
ADDRESS TO LIGHT.
God is light,