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To measure life learn thou betimes, and know Toward folid good what leads the nearest way; For other things mild Heav'n a time ordains, And difapproves that care, though wife in fhow, That with fuperfluous burden loads the day, And when God fends a chearful hour, refrains. XXII.
*To the fame.
Cyriac, this three years day these eyes, though clear,
fonnet likewife is very incorrect, but we shall restore it by the affiftance of the Manufcript.
3. Bereft of light th ir feeing bave forgot,] In the printed copies
it is abfurdly,
Bereft of fight their seeing have forgot.
* The two fonnets to Cyriac man. In the printed editions this Skinner we have printed in the fame order as they are number'd in the Manufcript. This latter was never printed in Milton's lifetime, but was first publish'd feveral years after his death at the same time and in the fame manner with the foregoing ones to General Fairfax, Cromwell, and Sir Henry Vane: and tho' the perfon, to whom it is addrefs'd, was not fo obnoxious as any of those before mention'd, yet it might not have been fafe for Milton to have publifh'd fuch a commendation of his Defense of the people, which the government had order'd to be burnt by the hands of the common hang
4. Nor to their idle orbs doth fight appear
Of fun, or moon, &c.] In the printed editions it is,
Nor to their idle orbs doth day
Of fun, or moon, or ftar throughout the year,
Or man, or woman.
Yet I argue not
Against Heav'n's hand or will, nor bate a jot Of heart or hope, but ftill bear up and steer Right onward. What fupports me, doft thou ask? The confcience, Friend, to' have loft them overply'd In liberty's defenfe, my noble task,
Of which all Europe talks from fide to fide.
This thought might lead me through the world's vain mask
Content though blind, had I no better guide.
Brought to me like Alceftis from the grave, Whom Jove's great fon to her glad husband gave, Rescued from death by force, though pale and
Mine, as whom wash'd from spot of child-bed taint 5
And fuch, as yet once more I trust to have
I wak'd, she fled, and day brought back my
Lefs'd is the man who hath not walk'd astray In counsel of the wicked, and i' th' T of finners hath not stood, and in the feat
Of fcorners hath not fat. But in the
Nor finners in th' affembly of just men.
PS AL. II. Done Aug. 8. 1653. Terzette. HY do the Gentiles tumult, and the nations Mufe a vain thing, the kings of th'earth upftand With pow'r, and princes in their congregations Lay deep their plots together through each land Against
Against the Lord and his Meffiah dear?
Let us break off, fay they, by ftrength of hand Their bonds, and caft from us, no more to wear, Their twisted cords: He who in Heav'n doth dwell
Shall laugh, the Lord shall scoff them, then severe Speak to them in his wrath, and in his fell
And fierce ire trouble them; but I, faith he, Anointed have my King (though ye rebel) On Sion my holy' hill. A firm decree
I will declare; the Lord to me hath said Thou art my Son, I have begotten thee This day; afk of me, and the grant is made; As thy poffeffion I on thee beftow
Th' Heathen, and as thy conqueft to be sway'd Earth's utmost bounds: them shalt thou bring full low
With iron scepter bruis'd, and them difperfe 20
And now be wife at length ye Kings averse,
Jehovah serve, and let your joy converse