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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.
[ON HIS DECEASED WIFE.]
METHOUGHT I saw my late espoused saint
Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave,
Mine, as whom washed from spot of child-bed taint
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 veiled; yet to my fancied sight Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shined So clear as in no face with more delight.
But, oh! as to embrace me she inclined,
I waked, she fled, and day brought back my night.
THE FIFTH ODE OF HORACE, LIB. I.,
Quis multâ gracilis te puer in rosa,
Rendered almost word for word, without rhyme, according to the Latin measure, as near as the language will permit.
WHAT slender youth, bedewed with liquid odours,
In wreaths thy golden hair,
Plain in thy neatness? Oh, how oft shall he
Who now enjoys thee credulous, all gold;
Hopes thee, of flattering gales
To whom thou untried seem'st fair! Me, in my vowed
My dank and dropping weeds
To the stern God of Sea.
[As Milton inserts the original with his translation, as if to challenge comparison, it is right that we should do so too.]
AD PYRRHAM. ODE V.
Horatius ex Pyrrhæ illecebris tanquam e naufragio enataverat, cujus amore irretitos affirmat esse miseros.
QUIS multâ gracilis te puer in rosâ
Cui flavam religas comam
Simplex munditie? Heu, quoties fidem
Qui nunc te fruitur credulus aureâ ;
Sperat, nescius auræ
Intentata nites. Me tabulâ sacer
Votivâ paries indicat uvida
Vestimenta maris Deo.
April, 1648.-J. M.
Nine of the Psalms done into metre; wherein all, but what is in a different character, are the very words of the Text, translated from the original.
I THOU Shepherd that dost Israel keep,
Who leadest like a flock of sheep
Thy loved Joseph's seed,
That sitt'st between the Cherubs bright,
Shine forth, and from thy cloud give light,
And on our foes thy dread.
2 In Ephraim's view and Benjamin's,
And in Manasseh's sight,
Awake1 thy strength, come, and be seen 1 Gnorera.
To save us by thy might.
3 Turn us again; thy grace divine
4 Lord God of Hosts, how long wilt thou,
Thy 2 smoking wrath, and angry brow, 2 Gnashanta.
5 Thou feed'st them with the bread of tears;
And mak'st them largely 3 drink the tears 3 Shalish.
6 A strife thou mak'st us and a prey
To every neighbour foe;
Among themselves they laugh, they play,
And flouts at us they throw.
7 Return us, and thy grace divine,
O God of Hosts, vouchsafe;
Cause thou thy face on us to shine,
And then we shall be safe.
8 A Vine from Egypt thou hast brought,
And drov'st out nations proud and haut,
9 Thou didst prepare for it a place,
That it began to grow apace,
10 With her green shade that covered all
Her boughs as high as cedars tall
II Her branches on the western side
And upward to that river wide
Her other branches went.
12 Why hast thou laid her hedges low, And broken down her fence,
That all may pluck her, as they go,
With rudest violence?
13 The tusked boar out of the wood
Upturns it by the roots;
Wild beasts there browse, and make their food
14 Return now, God of Hosts; look down
From Heaven, thy seat divine;
Behold us, but without a frown,
And visit this thy Vine.
15 Visit this Vine, which thy right hand
And the young branch, that for thyself
16 But now it is consumed with fire,
17 Upon the Man of thy right hand
18 So shall we not go back from thee
19 Return us, and thy grace divine,