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Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapt
Could Time, his flight revers’d, restore the hours,
Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast (The storms all weather’d, and the ocean cross'd) · Shoots into port at some well-haven'd isle, Where spices breathe, and brighter seasons smile, There sits quiescent on the floods, that show Her beauteous form reflected clear below, While airs impregnated with incense play Around her, fanning light her streamers gay; So thou, with sails how swift! hast reach'd the shore, “ Where tempests never beat nor billows roar;' And thy loved consort on the dangerous tide Of life long since has anchor'd by thy side. But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest, Always from port withheld, always distress'd, Me, howling blasts drive devious, tempest-toss'd, Sails ripp'd, seams opening wide, and compass lost, And day by day some current's thwarting force Sets me more distant from a prosperous course. Yet O the thought, that thou art safe, and he ! That thought is joy, arrive what may to me. My boast is not that I deduce my birth From loins enthroned, and rulers of the earth ; But higher far my proud pretensions rise,The son of parents pass'd into the skies. And now, farewell !-Time unrevoked has run His wonted course, yet what I wish'd is done. By contemplation's help, not sought in vain, I seem to have lived my childhood o'er again ; To have renewed the joys that once were mine, Without the sin of violating thine; And, while the wings of fancy still are free, And I can view this mimic show of thee, Time has but half succeeded in his theft, Thyself removed, thy power to soothe me left.
182.—THE LIBERTY OF UNLICENSED PRINTING.
MILTON. [It is not creditable to the present age that Milton is neglected as a poet, and that many persons approach the · Paradise Lost' and the · Paradise Regained, as if they were entering upon a hard and disagreeable task. This is one of the caprices of fashion which will not last. There is nothing in our language, with the exception perhaps of Shakspere, Spenser, and Wordsworth, that can so fill and satisfy the mind which conceives of poetry as possessing higher capacities than that of mere entertainment, as the poetry of Milton. We cannot expect that his prose works should be equally read, nor have they any just claim to the pre-eminence of his poems. They are formed upon Latin models; and, however eloquent and grand in occasional passages, are necessarily constrained and artificial. The extract which we give is from one of the most famous of his prose compositions, • Areopagitica, a Speech for the Liberty of unlicensed Printing. John Milton was the son of John and Sarah Milton. · He was born on the 9th of December, 1608, in London. He was educated at St. Paul's School, and at Christ's College, Cambridge. He spent seven years in the university, and afterwards resided for five years in his father's house, during which time it is supposed he wrote · Comus,' and his other minor poems. In 1637 he travelled into Italy; he returned after an absence of fifteen months, and, whilst devoting himself to the education of his nephews, became deeply interested in the great political questions of his day. In 1641 he published his first political tract on Reformation.' In 1643 he married Mary Powell; but repudiated her shortly afterwards, and in consequence published his four * Treatises on Divorce.' Milton and his wife became reunited after a brief separation. In 1644 he published his · Tractate on Education, and his · Areopagitica.' After the execution of Charles I., appeared his tract on the Tenure of Kings and Magistrates ;' and after his appointment as Latin secretary to Cromwell in 1649, his · Eiconodlastes,' and other tracts. In 1654 he became blind, after his second marriage. He married for the third time in 1660. He published * Paradise Lost'in 1667, and · Paradise Regained' and ' Samson Ago. nistes’ in 1671. He died on the 8th of November, 1674, and was buried in St. Giles's, Cripplegate.]
Lords and Commons of England ! consider what nation it is whereof ye are, and whereof ye are the governors ; a nation not slow and