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For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb'd,

And last of all thy greedy self consumed,

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With Truth, and Peace, and Love, shall ever shine

About the supreme throne

Of him, to whose happy-making sight alone

When once our heavenly-guided soul shall climb;
Then, all this earthy grossness quit,

Attired with stars, we shall for ever sit,

Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee, O Time k.

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BLEST pair of Sirens, pledges of Heaven's joy;
Sphere-born harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse;
Wed your divine sounds, and mix'd power employ
Dead things with imbreathed sense able to pierce;
And to our high-raised phantasy present
That undisturbed song of pure concent1,

i In Milton's manuscript, written with his own hand, fol. 8. the title is, "On Time. To be set on a clock-case."-T. WARTON.

1 Individual.

Eternal, inseparable. As in "Paradise Lost," b. iv. 485, b. v. 610.-T. WARTON. Milton could not help applying the most solemn and mysterious truths of religion on all subjects and occasions. He has here introduced the beatific vision, and the investiture of the soul with a robe of stars into an inscription on a clock-case. Perhaps something more moral, more plain and intelligible, would have been more proper. John Bunyan, if capable of rhyming, would have written such an inscription for a clock-case. The latter part of these lines may be thought wonderfully sublime; but it is in the cant of the times. The poet should be distinguished from the enthusiast.-T. WARTON. Yet still, I think, Milton is here no enthusiast: the triumph, which he mentions, will certainly be the triumph of every sincere Christian.—TODD.

1 That undisturbed song of pure concent, &c.

The "undisturbed song of pure concent" is the diapason of the music of the spheres, to which, in Plato's system, God himself listens.-T. WARTON.

Aye sung before the sapphire-colour'd throne
To him that sits thereon,

With saintly shout, and solemn jubilee ;
Where the bright seraphim, in burning row,
Their loud uplifted angel trumpets blow;
And the cherubick host, in thousand quires,
Touch their immortal harps of golden wires,
With those just spirits that wear victorious palms,
Hymns devout and holy psalms

Singing everlastingly:

That we on earth m, with undiscording voice,



May rightly answer that melodious noise;

As once we did, till disproportion'd sin

Jarr'd against Nature's chime, and with harsh din
Broke the fair musick that all creatures made

To their great Lord, whose love their motion sway'd
In perfect diapason, whilst they stood

In first obedience, and their state of good.
O, may we soon again renew that song,

And keep in tune with Heaven, till God ere long
To his celestial concert us unite,

To live with him, and sing in endless morn of light!




THIS rich marble doth inter

The honour'd wife of Winchester,

A viscount's daughter, an earl's heir,
Besides what her virtues fair n

Added to her noble birth,

More than she could own from earth.
Summers three times eight save one
She had told; alas! too soon,

After so short time of breath,

To house with darkness and with death.
Yet had the number of her days
Been as complete as was her praise,
Nature and Fate had had no strife
In giving limit to her life.

m That we on earth, &c.


Perhaps there are no finer lines in Milton, less obscured by conceit, less embarrassed by affected expressions, and less weakened by pompous epithets: and in this perspicuous and simple style are conveyed some of the noblest ideas of a most sublime philosophy, heightened by metaphors and allusions suitable to the subject.-T. WARTON.

n Besides what her virtues fair, &c.

In Howell's entertaining Letters, there is one to this lady, the Lady Jane Savage, Marchioness of Winchester, dated March 15, 1626. He says, he assisted her in learning Spanish; and that Nature and the Graces exhausted all their treasure and skill, in "framing this exact model of female perfection."-T. WARTON.

Her high birth, and her graces sweet,
Quickly found a lover meet°;

The virgin quire for her request
The god that sits at marriage feast:
He at their invoking came,

But with a scarce well-lighted flame P ;
And in his garland, as he stood,
Ye might discern a cypress bud 9.
Once had the early matrons run
To greet her of a lovely son;
And now with second hope she goes,
And calls Lucina to her throes:
But, whether by mischance or blame,
Atropos for Lucina came;
And with remorseless cruelty
Spoil'd at once both fruit and tree:
The hapless babe, before his birth,
Had burial, yet not laid in earth;
And the languish'd mother's womb
Was not long a living tomb.

So have I seen some tender slip,
Saved with care from winter's nip,
The pride of her carnation train,
Pluck'd up by some unheedy swain,
Who only thought to crop the flower
New shot up from vernal shower;
But the fair blossom hangs the head
Sideways, as on a dying bed;
And those pearls of dew she wears
Prove to be presaging tears,
Which the sad morn had let fall
On her hastening funeral.

• Her high birth, and her graces sweet,
Quickly found a lover meet.








She was the wife of John, Marquis of Winchester, a conspicuous loyalist in the reign of king Charles I., whose magnificent house or castle of Basing in Hampshire withstood an obstinate siege of two years against the rebels, and when taken was levelled to the ground, because in every window was flourished Aymez Loyauté. He died in 1674, and was buried in the church of Englefield in Berkshire; where, on his monument, is an admirable epitaph in English verse written by Dryden, which I have often seen. It is remarkable that both husband and wife should have severally received the honour of an epitaph from two such poets as Milton and Dryden.-T. WARTON.

P He at their invoking came,

But with a scarce well-lighted flame.

Almost literally from his favourite poet Ovid,

"Metam." x. 4, of Hymen:

Adfuit ille quidem : sed nec solennia verba,
Nec lætos vultus, nec felix attulit omen:

Fax quoque quam tenuit, lacrymoso stridula fumo,

Usque fuit, nullosque invenit motibus ignes.-T. WARTON.

Ye might discern a cypress bud.

An emblem of a funeral; and it is called in Virgil "feralis," Æn. vi. 216, and in Horace "funebris," Epod. v. 18, and in Spenser "the cypress funeral," Faer. Qu. 1. i. 8. -NEWTON.

Gentle lady, may thy grave
Peace and quiet ever have;
After this thy travel sore
Sweet rest seize thee evermore,
That, to give the world increase,
Shorten'd hast thy own life's lease.
Here, besides the sorrowing
That thy noble house doth bring,
Here be tears of perfect moan
Wept for thee in Helicon;

And some flowers, and some bays,
For thy herse, to strow the ways,

Sent thee from the banks of Camer,

Devoted to thy virtuous name;

Whilst thou, bright saint, high sitt'st in glory,

Next her, much like to thee in story,

That fair Syrian shepherdess",

Who, after years of barrenness,

The highly-favour'd Joseph bore

To him that served for her before;

And at her next birth, much like thee,
Through pangs fled to felicity t,
Far within the bosom bright
Of blazing Majesty and Light:
There with thee, new welcome saint,
Like fortunes may her soul acquaint,
With thee there clad in radiant sheen,
No marchioness, but now a queen.

• Sent thee from the banks of Came.

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I have been told that there was a Cambridge collection of verses on her death, among which Milton's elegiac ode first appeared: but I have never seen it, and I rather think this was not the case: at least, we are sure that Milton was now a student at Cambridge. Our marchioness was the daughter of Thomas Lord Viscount Savage, of Rocksavage in Cheshire; and it is natural to suppose, that her family was well acquainted with the family of Lord Bridgewater, belonging to the same county, for whom Milton wrote the mask of "Comus.' It is therefore not improbable that Milton wrote this elegy, another poetical favour, in consequence of his acquaintance with the Egerton family. The accomplished lady, here celebrated, died in child-bed of a second son in her twenty-third year, and was the mother of Charles, the first Duke of Bolton.-T. WARTON.

That fair Syrian shepherdess.

Rachel. See Gen. xxix. 9; xxxv. 18.-T. Warton.

Through pangs feed to felicity.

We cannot too much admire the beauty of this line: I wish it had closed the poem ; which it would have done with singular effect. What follows serves only to weaken it; and the last verse is an eminent instance of the bathos, where the "saint clad in radiant sheen" sinks into a marchioness and a queen: but Milton seldom closes his little poems well.-DUNSTER.

There is a pleasing vein of lyric sweetness and ease in Milton's use of this metre, which is that of "L'Allegro" and "Il Penseroso:" he has used it with equal success in Comus's festive song, and the last speech of the Spirit, in "Comus," 93. 922. From these specimens we may justly wish that he had used it more frequently. Perhaps in Comus's song it has a peculiar propriety: it has certainly a happy effect.-T. WARTON.


Now the bright morning-star, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.

Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire;
Woods and groves are of thy dressing;
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing!
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.



This beautiful little song presents an eminent proof of Milton's attention to the effect of metre, in that admirable change of numbers, with which he describes the appearance of the May Morning, and salutes her after she has appeared; as different as the subject is, and produced by the transition from iambics to trochaics. So in "L'Allegro," he banishes Melancholy in iambics, but invites Euphrosyne and her attendants in trochaics.-TODD.



At a vacation Exercise in the College, part Latin, part English. The Latin
speeches ended, the English thus began :-

HAIL, native Language, that by sinews weak
Didst move my first endeavouring tongue to speak;
And madest imperfect words with childish trips,
Half unpronounced, slide through my infant lips;
Driving dumb Silence from the portal door,
Where he had mutely sat two years before!
Here I salute thee, and thy pardon ask,
That now I use thee in my latter task:

Small loss it is that thence can come unto thee;
I know my tongue but little grace can do thee:
Thou need'st not be ambitious to be first;
Believe me, I have thither pack'd the worst:
And if it happen as I did forecast,

The daintiest dishes shall be served up last.
I pray thee, then, deny me not thy aid

For this same small neglect that I have made :

But haste thee straight to do me once a pleasure,

And from thy wardrobe bring thy chiefest treasure ;

a Written in 1627: it is hard to say why these poems did not first appear in edition

1645. They were first added, but misplaced, in edition 1673.-T. WARTON.

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