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solicit them from him. Let the event guide itfelf which way it wilt, I shall deserve of the age, by bringing into the light as true a birth, as the Muses have brought forth fince our famous Spenser wrote; whose poems in these English ones are as rarely imitated, as sweetly excell'd. Reader, if thou art eagle-ey'd to censure their worth, I am not fearful to expose them to thy exactest perusal.

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On the death of a fair Infant, dying of a cough.

I.

O

Fairest flow'r no fooner blown but blasted,

Soft filken primrose fading timelesly, Summer's chief honor, if thou hadît out-lasted Bleak Winter's force that made thy blossom dry; For he being amorous on that lovely dye

5 That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss, But kill'd, alas, and then bewail'd his fatal bliss.

For

This elegy was not inferted in consequently a daughter of his the firft edition of the author's fifter Philips, and probably her first poems printed in 1645, but was child. added in the second edition printed in 1673. It was compos'd in the 6.

thought to kiss, year 1625, that being the 17th But killd, alas, &c) Copied pro. year of Milton's age. In some bably from this verse in Shake. editions the title

runs thus, On the spear's Venus and Adonis, death of a fair Infant, a nephew of bis, dying of a cough: but the fé- He thought to kiss him, and quel shows plainly that the child hath kill'd him fo. was not a nephew, but a niece, and

8. For

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For fince grim Aquilo his charioteer
By boistrous rape th’ Athenian damsel got,
He thought it touch'd his deity full near,
If likewise he fome fair one wedded not,
Thereby to wipe away th’infamous blot
Of long-uncoupled bed, and childless eld,

[held. Which ʼmongst the wanton Gods a foul reproach was

III.
So mounting up in icy-pearled car,

15
Through middle empire of the freezing air
He wander'd long, till thee he spy'd from far;
There ended was his quest, there ceas'd his care,
Down he descended from his snow-sóft chair,

But all'unwares with his cold-kind embrace Unhous’d thy virgin soul from her fair biding place.

Yet

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8. For fince grim Aquilo &c] Bo- lib. 3.) that is, she was drownd in reas or Aquilo carried off by force a high wind crossing that river. Orithyia daughter of Erectheus

Richardson. king of Athens. Ovid. Met. VI.

thinfamous blot Fab.

9.

Milton hath invented this Of long-unccupled bed, and child fine fable of Winter's rape upon less eld, &c] The author prohis fifter's daughter, on the fame bably pronounced infamous with grounds as that of Boreas on the the middle syllable long as it is in daughter of Ere&heus, whom he Latin. Eld is old age, a word used saviih'd as she crossd over the in innumerable places of Spenser tiver llyffus (as Apollodorus says and our old writers. And in say:

4.

IV.

. Yet art thou not inglorious in thy fate; For so Apollo, with unweeting hand,

!! Whilome did say his dearly-loved mate, Young Hyacintb born on Eurotas' strand, 25 Young Hyacinth the pride of Spartan land;

But then transform’d him to a purple flower: Alack that so to change thee Winter had no power.

V. Yet can I not persuade me thou art dead, Or that thy corse corrupts in earth's dark womb, 30 Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed, Hid from the world in a low delved tomb; Could Heav'n for pity thee so strictly doom?

Oh no! for something in thy face did thine Abové mortality, that show'd thou wast divine.

35

Resolve i odrüit se ing that long uncoupled bed and child- Connubii, fterilesque diu confulefs éld was held a reproach among

meret annos, the wanton Gods, the poet seems to Impatiens nescire torum, nullas- . allude particularly to the case of Plato, as reported by Claudian. De Illecebras, nec dulce patris cogRapt. Proi. I. 32.

noscere nomen. Dux Erebi quondam tumidas ex- 23. For lo Apollo, &c ] Apollo arfit in iras

sicw Hyacinthus by accident playPrælia moturus fuperis, quod so. ing at quoits, and afterwards

a

que mariti

changed him into a flower of the B 3

fame

lus egeret

40

VI. Resolve me then, oh Soul most surely bleft, 1. (If so it be that thou these plaints doft hear) Tell me bright Spirit where'er thou hoverest, Whether above that high first-moving sphere, Or in th’ Elysian fields (if such there were)

Oh say mę true, if thou wert mortal wight, And why from us so quickly thou didst take thy flight.

VII. Wert thou some star which from the ruin'd roof Of Thak'd Olympus by mischance didst fall; Which careful Jove in nature's true behoof 45 Took up, and in fit place did reinstall ? Or did of late earth's sons besiege the wall

Of

same name.

The reader may see cealed themselves in various hapes. the story in Ovid. Met. X. Fab. 6. See Ovid. Met. V: 319. &c.

49. nektar'd head? ] As in 39. tbat bigb forf-moving Lycidas ver. 175. sphere,] The primum mobile,

With nectar that first mov'd as he calls it Para

pure

his oozy locks

he laves. dise Lott. III. 483. where see the note..

50. that juft Maid) Aftrea 44. didA fall;] This is fome- or the Goddess of justice, who of

fended with the crimes of men forwhat inaccurate in all the editions.

fook the earth. Ovid. Met. I. 150. Grammar and syntax require did fall.

Ultima cæleftûm terras Aftrea

reliquit. 47. Or did of late earth's fons &c] For when the giants invaded 53. ---that sweet smiling Youth ] Heaven, the deities fled and con. At first I imagind that the author

meant

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