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Qual in colle aspro, al imbrunır di sera

L'avezza giovinetta pastorella
Va bagnando l'herbetta strana e bella

Che mal si spande a disusata spera
Fuor di sua natia alma primavera,

Cosi Amor meco insù la lingua snella
Desta ill fior novo di strania favella.

Mentre io di te, vezzosamente altera,
Canto, dal mio buon popol non inteso

E'l bel Tamigi cangio col bel Arno.

Amor lo volse, ed io a l'altrui peso
Seppi ch' Amor cosa mai volse indarno.

Deh! foss'il mio cour lento e'l duro seno
A chi pianta dal ciel si buon terreno.

CANZONE.

Ridon31 donne e giovani amorosi

M'accostandosi attorno, e perche scrivi,
Perche tu scrivi in lingua ignota e strana
Verseggiando d'amor, e comte t'osi?
Dinne, se la tua speme sia mai vana,
E de pensieri lo miglior t'arrivi ;
Cosi mi van burlando, altri rivi
Altri lidi t'aspettan, ed altre onde
Nelle cui verdi sponde
Spuntati ad hor, ad hor a la tua chioma
L'immortal guiderdon d'eterne frordi
Perche alle spalle tue soverchia soma ?

Canzou dirotti, e tu per me rispondi
Dice mia Donna, e'l suo dir, é il mio cnore
Questa e lingua di cui si vanta Amore.

IV.

Diodati, e tel’ dirò con maraviglia,

Quel ritroso io ch’amor spreggiar solea
E de suoi lacci spesso mi ridea

Gia caddi, ov' huom dabben talhor s'impiglia Ne treccie d'oro, ne guanc a vermiglia

M'abbaglian sì, ma sotto nova idea
Pellegrina bellezza che'l cuor bea,

Portamenti alti honesti, e nelle ciglia
Quel sereno fulgor d'amabil nero,

Parole adorne di lingua piu d'una,

E'l cantar che di mezzo l'hemispero Traviar ben puo la faticosa Luna,

SONNETS.

TO THE NIGHTINGALE.

O NIGHTINGALE, that, on yon bloomy spray,

Warblest at eve, when all the woods are still, Thou, with fresh hope, the lover's heart dost fill

, While the jolly Hours lead on propitious May. Thy liquid notes, that close the eye of day,

First heard before the shallow cuckoo's bill,
Portend success in love; 0, if Jove's will

Have link'd that amorous power to thy soft lay, Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate

Foretell my hopeless doom, in some grove nigh ;

As thou, from year to year, hast sung too late For my relief, yet hadst no reason why :

Whether the Muse, or Love, call thee his mate, Both them I serve, and of their train am I.

II.

Donna leggiadra, il cui bel nome honora

L'herbosa val di Rheno, e il nobil varco;
Bene è colui d'ogni valore scarco
Qual tuo spirto gentil non innamora;
Che dolcemente mostra si di fuora

De sui atti soavi giamai parco,
E i don', che son d'amor saette ed arco,

La onde l' alta tua virtu s'infiora.
Quando tu vaga parli, o lieta canti

Che mover possa dura alpestre legno,
Guardi ciascun a gli occhi, ed a gli orecchi
L'entrata, chi di te si trouva indegno;

Gratia sola di su gli vaglia, inanti
Che'l disio amoroso al cuor s'invecchi.

E degli occhi suoi auventa si gran

fuoco Che l'incerar gli orecchi mi fia poco.

Per certo i bei vostr’occhi, Donna mia

Esser non puo che non sian lo mio sole
Si mi percuoton forte, come ei suole

Per l'arene di Libia chi s'invia,
Mentre un caldo vapor (ne sentì pria)

Da quel lato si spinge ove mi duole,
Che forse amanti nelle lor parole

Chiaman sospir ; io non so che si sia :
Parte rinchiusa, e turbida si cela

Scosso mi il petto, e poi n'uscendo poco

Quivi d' attorno o s'agghiaccia, o s’ingiela ;
Ma quanto a gli occhi giunge a trovar loco

Tutte le notti a me suol far piovose
Finche mia Alba rivien colma di rose.

VI.

GIOVANE piano, e semplicette amante

Poi che fuggir me stesso in dubbio sono,
Madonna a voi del mio cuor l'humil dono

Farò divoto; io certo a prove tante,
L'hebbi fedele, intrepido, costante,

De pensieri leggiadro accorto, e buono;
Quando rugge ilgran mondo, e scocca il tuono,

S'arma di se, e d'intero diamante :
Tanto del forse, e d'invidia sicuro,

Di timori, e speranze, al popol use,

Quanto d'ingegno, e d'alto valor vago,
E di cetta sonora, e delle muse;

Sol troverete in tal parte men duro,
Ove Amor mise l'insanabil ago.

VII.

ON HIS BEING ARRIVED TO THE AGE OF 23.* How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,

Stolen, on his wing, my three and twentieth year! My hasting days fly on with full career,

But my late spring no bud or blossom sheweth. Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth,

That I to manhood am arrived so near,

Written at Cambridge in 1631, and sent in a letter to a friend, who had importuned our author to take orders

And inward ripeness doth much less appear,

That some more timely-happy spirits endueth. Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,

It shall be still, in strictest measure, even

To that same lot, however mean or high,
Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Heaven,

All is, if I have grace to use it so
As ever in my great Task-Master's eye.

VIII.

WHEN THE ASSAULT WAS INTENDED TO THE CITY. CAPTAIN, or Colonel, or Knight in arms,

Whose chance on these defenceless doors may seize, If eed of honour did thee ever please,

Guard them, & him within protect from harms,
He can requite thee, for he knows the charms

That call fame on such gentle acts as these,
And he can spread thy name o'er lands & seas,

Whatever clime the sun's bright circle warms.
Lift not thy spear against the Muses' bower:

The great Emathian conqueror bid spare

The house of Pindarus, when temple and tower Went to the ground : and the repeated air

Of sad Electra's poet had the power
To save the Athenian walls from ruin bare.

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LADY, that in the prime of earliest youth

Wisely hast shunn'd the broad way & the green,
And with those few art eminently seen,

That labour up the hill of heavenly truth;
The better part with Mary and with Ruth

Chosen thou hast; and they that overween,
And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen,

No anger find in thee, but pity and ruth.
Thy care is fix'd, and zealously attends

To fill thy odorous lamp, with deeds of light,

And hope, that reaps not shame. Therefore be sure, Thou, when the bridegroom, with his feastful friends,

Passes to bliss, at the mid hour of night,
Hast gain'd thy entrance, virgin wise and pure.

• In 1642; the King's army having arrived at Brentford.

X.

TO THE LADY MARGARET LEY.*
Daughter to that good Earl, once president

Of England's council, and her treasury,
Who lived in both, unstain'd with gold or fee,

And left them both, more in himself content,
Till the sad breaking of that parliament

Broke him, as that dishonest victory,
At Chæronea, fatal to liberty,

Kill'd, with report, that old man eloquent. +
Though later born than to have known the days

Wherein your father flourish'd, yet by you,

Madam, methinks I see him living yet ;
So well your words his noble virtues praise,

That all both judge you to relate them true,
And to possess them, honour'd Margaret.

XI.

ON THE DETRACTION WHICH FOLLOWED UPON MY

WRITING CERTAIN TREATISES. 1645.
A BOOK was writ, of late, call’d Tetrachordon,

And woven close, both matter, form, & style;

The subject new : it walk'd the town awhile, Numbering good intellects; now seldom pored on. Cries the stall-reader, " Bless us! what a word on

A title page is this !" and some, in file,
Stand spelling false, while one might walk to Mile-

End Green. Why, is it harder, sirs, than Gordon, Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp?

The daughter of Sir James Ley, whose singular learning and abilities raised him through all the great posts of the law, till he came to be made Earl of Marlborough, and Lord High Treasurer, and Lord President of the Council to King James I. He died in an advanced age; and Milton attributes his death to the breaking of the Parliament: and it is true that the ParJiament was dissolved the 10th of March 1628-9, and he died on the 14th of the same month.--Newton.

+ Isocrates, the orator. The victory was gained by Philip of Macedon over the Athenians.- Warton.

This was one of Milton's books published in consequence of his divorce from his first wife. Tetrachordon signifies Expositions on the four chief places in Scripture which mention marriage or nullities in marriage.- Warton.

§ Milton is here collecting, from his hatred to the Scots, what be thinks Scottish names of an ill sound. Colkitto and Macdonnel, are one and the same person ; a brave officer on the royal side, an Irishman of the Antrim family, who served in

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