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pro In solemn songs at king Alcinous feast, While fad Ulysses foul and all the rest

50 Are held with his melodious harmony In willing chains and sweet captivity. But fie, my wand'ring Muse, how thou dost stray! Expectance calls thee now another

way, Thou know'st it must be now thy only bent 55 To keep in compass of thy predicament: Then quick about thy purpos'd business come, That to the next I may resign my room.

Then Ens is represented as father of the Predicaments

his ten fons, whereof the eldest stood for Substance with his canons, which Ens, thus speaking, explains.

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OOD luck befriend thee, Son; for at thy birth

The faery ladies danc'd upon the hearth; 60 Thy drousy nurse hath sworn she did them spie! Come tripping to the room where thou didft lie, -T And sweetly singing round about thy bed, Strow all their blessings on thy sleeping head.

She

and Ulyffes and the rest are affected the Greeks called a catégory, Boëin the manner here describ'd. thius first named a predicament: and 56. of thy predicament:] What if the reader is acquainted with Ari

stotle's

70

She heard them give thee this, thạt thou shouldīt still From eyes of mortals walk invisible :

66
Yet there is something that doth force my fear,
For once it was my dismal hap to hear
A Sibyl old, bow-bent with crooked

age,
That far events full wisely could presage,
And in time's long and dark prospective glass
Foresaw what future days should bring to pass ;
Your son, said the, (nor can you it prevent)
Shall subject be to many an Accident.
O'er all his brethren he shall reign as king,

75 Yet

every one shall make him underling, And those that cannot live from him asunder. Ungratefully shall strive to keep him under, In worth and excellence he shall out-go them, Yet being above them, he shall be below them; From others he shall stand in need of nothing, Yet on his brothers shall depend for clothing. To find a foe it shall not be his hap, And peace shall lull him in her flow'ry lap;

Yet

80 Yet fhall he live in strife, and at his door

ftotle's Categories, or Burgersdicius, plain'd to him; and it cannot well or any of the old logicians, he will be explain'd to him, if he is unacnot want what follows to be ex- quainted with that kind of logic.

91. Rivers

85 Devouring war shall never cease to roar : Yea it shall be his natural property To harbour those that are at enmity. What pow'r, what force, what mighty spell, if not Your learned hands, can loose this Gordian knot? go

The

gris land

91. Rivers arise ; &c.] In in- who like some earth-born giant &c. voking these rivers Milton had his This description is much nobler eye particularly upon that admi. than Spenser's St. 35. rable episode in Spenser of the marriage of the Thames and the Med

And bounteous Trent, that in way, where the several rivers are himself enfeams introduc'd in honor of the cere- Both thirty sorts of fish, and mony. Faery Queen B. 4. Cant. thirty sundry streams. 11. Of uta:oft Tweed; fo Spenser St. 36.

The name is of Saxon original,

but (as Camden obferves in his And Twede the limit betwixt Lo- Staffordshire. ) « some ignorant

“ and idle pretenders imagine the And Albany

name to be derived from the

· French word Trente, and upon Or Oose, either that in Yorkshire, “ that account have feign'd thirty or that in Cambridgeshire, both“ rivers running into it, and like. mention'd by Spenser. Or gulphy “ wise so many kinds of fish swimDun, I find not in Spenser, but fup- ming in it." However this nopose the Den is meant from whence tion might very well be adopted in Doncaster has its name; and Cam- poetry. Or sullen Mole &c. So den's account of this river shows Spenser St. 32. the propriety of the epithet gulpby.

Danus, commonly Don and And Mole, that like a nousling

Dune, seems to be so call'd, be- mole doth make o cause it is carried in a low deep His way still under ground, till • channel ; for that is the signifi- Thamis he o'ertake. « cation of the British word Dan." See Camden's Yorkshire. Or Trent, See the same account in Camden's

Surry.

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The next Quantity and Quality spake in profe, then

Relation was call'd by his name.
IVERS arise; whether thou be the son

Of utmost Tweed, or Oose, or gulphy Dun,
Or Trent, who like some earth-born giant spreads
His thirty arms along th' indented meads,

Or

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Surry. Or Severn swift &c. We See Lycidas too ver. 55. Or Humhall have a fuller account of this ber loud &c. So Spenser speaks of in the Mask. Or rocky Avon, Spen- this Scythian king, and of his befer more largely St. 31.

ing drown'd in the river, St. 38. But Avon marched in more state

And nam'd the river of his wretchly path,

ed fate; Proud of his adamants, with

Whose bad condition yet it doth which he shines

retain, And glifters wide, as als of won.

Oft tossed with his storms, which gal , drous Bath

therein still remain. his

And Bristow fair, which on his

Waves he builded hath, And the Medway and the Thame the

are juin'd together, as they are the Or fedgy Lee, this river divides Mid- married in Spenser. I wonder dlefex and Effex.

Spenser thus that Milton has paid no particular is describes it, St. 29.

compliment to the river flowing by ske

Cambridge (this exercise being The wanton Lee that oft doth made and spoken there) as Spenser

has done St. 34. Or coaly Tine, Spenser describes it

Thence doth by Huntingdon and by the Piets Wall. St. 36. Or an

Cambridge fit, cient hallow'd Dee; fo Spenser St.

My mother Cambridge, whom

as with a crown it39.

He doth adorn, and is adorn'd And following Dee, which Bri- of it tons long ygone

With many a gentle Muse, and Did call divine, that doth by

many a learned wit. Chester tend.

To

lose his way.

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95

Or sullen Mole that runneth underneath,
Or Severn swift, guilty of maiden's death,
Or rocky Avon, or of sedgy Lee,
Or coaly Tine, or ancient hallow'd Dee,
Or Humber loud that keeps the Scythian's name,
Or Medway smooth, or royal towred Thame.

[The rest was prose.]

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III.

On the MORNING of CHRIST'S NATIVITY,

Compos'd 1629.

I.

TH

HIS is the month, and this the happy morn,

Wherein the Son of Heav'n's eternal King,
Of wedded Maid, and Virgin Mother born,
Our great redemption from above did bring;
For so the holy sages once did fing,

That he our deadly forfeit should release,
And with his Father work us a perpetual peace,

That

* To the title of this Ode we posd 1629, so that Milton was have added the date, which is pre- then 21 years old. He speaks of fixed in the edition of 1645, Com- this poem in the conclusion of his

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