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TO THE LORD GENERAL CROMWELL.
CROMWELL, our chief of men, who, through a clouč
Not of war only, but detractions rude,
Guided by faith and matchless fortitude, To peace and truth thy glorious way hast plough’d, And on the neck of crowned fortune proud
Hast rear’d God's trophies, and his work pursued, While Darwen stream, with blood of Scots
imbrued, And Dunbar field, resounds thy praises loud, And Worcester's laureate wreath. Yet much
remains To conquer still; peace hath her victories
No less renown'd than war; new foes arise, Threatening to bind our souls with secular chains :
Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves, whose gospel is their maw.
TO SIR HENRY VANE, TIE YOUNGER.
VANE, young in years, but in sage counsel old,
Than whom a better senator ne'er held
The drift of hollow states hard to be spellid;
Then to advise how war may, best upheld, Move by her two main nerves, iron and gold,
In all her equipage: besides, to know Both spiritual power and civil, what each means What severs each, thou hast learn’d, which few
have done: The bounds of either sword to thee we owe. Therefore on thy firm hand religion leans In peace, and reckons thee her eldest son.
ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEDMONT.
AVENGE, O Lord, thy slaughter'd saints, whose bones
Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains cold; Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old,
, When all our fathers " shipp'd stocks and stones, Forget not: in tny book record their groans
Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold
Slain by the bloody Piedmontese, that rollid Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans
The vales redoubled to the hills, and they To heaven. Their martyr'd blood and ashes sow
O’er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway The triple tyrant; that from these may grow
A hundred fold, who, having learn'd thy way, Early may fly the Babylonian woe.
ON HIS BLINDNESS.
WHEN I consider how my light is spent
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more ben To serve there with my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he, returning, chide;
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied ?” I fondly ask: but Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “ God doth not need Either man's work, or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best; his
state Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed, And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.”
TO MR. LAWRENCE.
LAWRENCE, of virtuous father virtuous son,
Now that the fields are dank, and ways are nuire', Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the
fire Help waste a sullen day, what may be won From the hard season gaining ? Time will run
On smoother, till Favonius reinspire
The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire The lily and rose, that neither sow'd nor spun.
What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice, Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise
To hear the lute well touch’d, or artful voice
He who of those delights can judge, and spare To interpose them oft, is not unwise.
TO CYRIAC SKINNER.
CYRIAC, whose grandsire, on the royal bench
Of British Themis, with no mean applause,
Pronounced, and in his volumes taught, our laws Which others at their bar so often wrench; To-day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench
In mirth that, after, no repenting draws;
Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause, And what the Swede intends, and what the
French. To measure life learn thou betimes, and know Towards solid good what leads the nearest way;
For other things mild Heaven 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
TO THE SAME.
CYRIAC, this three years' day, these eyes, though
Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot;
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 the n 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, thought blind, had I no better guide.
ON BIS 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, though 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 heaven without restraint,
Come vested all in white, pure as her mind : Her face was veil'd, 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, | waked- she fled-and day brought back my