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And that one talent which is death to hide,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest:
XX. TO MR. LAWRENCE.*
LAWRENCE, of virtuous father virtuous son,
The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire
10 man's work, or his own gifts] Free will, or grace. Warburton. post] P. L. iv. 171,
'With a vengeance sent,
From Media post to Egypt.' Warton.
* Lawrence published a work called 'Of our Communion and Warre with Angels,' &c. 1646, 4to. Todd. See British Bibliographer, vol. i. p. 352.
What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,
He who of those delights can judge, and spare
XXI. TO CYRIAC SKINNER.
CYRIAC, whose grandsire on the royal bench
And what the Swede intends, and what the French.
Toward solid good what leads the nearest way; 10 For other things mild Heav'n 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.
7 Euclid] See Censura Literaria, vi. p. 144.
8 And what the Swede intends] So the MS. The first ed. And what the Swede intend,' which in others is altered to, ' And what the Swedes intend.' Newton.
11 mild Heav'n] So Son. xix. 'bear his mild yoke.' Par. Reg. ii. 125, 'these mild seats.' Sil. Italicus, iv. 795, 'Mite et cognatum est homini deus.' And Hen. More's Poems, p. 196.
XXII. TO THE SAME.
CYRIAC, this three years day these eyes, tho' clear
Of which all Europe rings from side to side.
This thought might lead me through the world's
Content though blind, had I no better guide.
3 Bereft, &c.] In the printed copies,
'Bereft of sight their seeing have forgot,
Nor to their idle orbs doth day appear,
Or sun or moon.' Newton.
7 a] In the printed copies, 'one.' Newton.
12 rings] So the printed copies before Newton's edition, in which 'talks' is substituted from the MS. instead of 'rings.' The Sonnet thus concluded before Newton's ed.
This thought might lead me through this world's vain mask,
Content though blind, had I no other guide.'
XXIII. 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, Rescued from death by force, tho' 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 Heav'n 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 O, as to embrace me she inclin'd,
I wak'd, she fled, and day brought back my night.*
* The original various readings to the sonnets from the Cambridge MS. may be seen in Mr. Todd's edition of Milton's Poet. Works, (1809,) vol. vi. p. 500-3.
PSALM I. DONE INTO VERSE, 1653.
BLESS'D is the man who hath not walk'd astray
Of sinners hath not stood,
Of scorners hath not sat.
and in the seat
Jehovah's law is ever his delight,
The wind drives, so the wicked shall not stand
Nor sinners in th' assembly of just men.
For the Lord knows th' upright way of the just, 15 And the way of bad men to ruin must.
PSALM II. DONE AUG. 8, 1653. TERZETTE.
WHY do the Gentiles tumult, and the nations