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

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

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



This elegy was not inserted in consequently a daughter of his the first 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 proyear of Milton's age. In some bably from this verse in Shakeeditions 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 fe- 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

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8. For

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For since grim Aquilo his charioteer
By boistrous

th' Athenian damsel

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,

16. [held. Which ’mongst the wanton Gods a foul reproach was

So mounting up in icy-pearled car,

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Through middle empire of the freezing air 1 in bo
He wander'd long, till thee he fpy'd from far;; :0)
There ended was his quest, there ceas'd his care, il
Down he descended from his snow-foft chair, ulus

But all unwares with his cold-kind embrace u 20 Unhous'd thy virgin soul from her fair biding places


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8. For fince grim Aquilo &c) Bo. lib. 3.) that is, the was drown'd in reas or Aquilo carried off by force a high wind crosting that river. Orithyia daughter of Erectheus

king of Athens.
Ovid. Met. VI.

th' infamous blot
Milton hath invented this

Of long-uncoupled bed, and child. fine fable of Winter's rape upon

less eld, &c] The author prohis fister's daughter, on the same bably prononced infamous with groundsas that of Boreas on the the middle syllable long as it is in daughter of Erectheas, whom he Latin. Eld is old age, a word used 'rávih'd as the cross'd over the in innumerable places of Spenser tiver llyssus (as Apollodorus fays and our old writers. And in fay.

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

- vi
Whilome did flay his dearly-loved mate,
Young Hyacinth born on Eurotas strand,
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.

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2. 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 : 9 ***:!T
Could Heav'n for pity thee so strictly doom?

. VC{ { Oh no! for fomething in thy face did shine

land Above mortality, that show'd thou walt

35 17


que mariti

ing that long-uncoupled led and child- Connubii, fterilefque diu confuless eld was held a reproach among

meret annos, the wanton Gods, the poet seems to Impatiens nescire torum, nullafallude particularly to the case of Pluto, as reported by Claudian. De Illecebras, nec dulce patris cogRapt. Prof. 1. 32.

noscere nomen. Dex Erebi quondam tumidas ex- 23. For lo Apcllo, &c) Apollo arsit in iras

siew. Hyacinthus by accident play. Prixlia moturus fuperis, quod so. ing at quoits, and afterwards

changed him into a flower of the


lus egeret

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sibi ,!'ve VI.. Resolve me then; oh Soul most surely bleft, (If so it be that thou these plaints dost hear) Tell me bright Spirit where'er thou hoverest, Whether above that high first-moving sphere; si Or in th’Elysian fields (if such there were). in 40

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


Wert thou some star which from the ruin'd' roof
Of fak'd Olympus by mischance didft fall ;
Which careful Jove in nature's true behoof stutt 14.5

up, and in fit place did reinstall VW Or did of late earth's fons besiege the walls 1769 OT


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his oozy

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

49 nectar'd bead? ]. As in A 39

39, that high first-moving Lycidas ver. 175.
sphere,] The primum mobile,

With nectar pure
ibat first mov'd as he calls it Para-


he laves.
dise Lost. III. 483. where fee the

50. that just Maid) Aftrea what inaccurate in all the editions, fook the earth. Ovid. Met. 1.150. 44. — dida fall;] This is some or the Goddess of justice, who of

fended with the crimes of men forGrammar and syntax require did fall.

Última cæleftûm terras Atrea

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


Of Theeny Heav'n, and thou some Goddess fled Amongst us here below to hide thy nectar'd head?


rii, si Or wert thou that just Maid who once before : 50 Forsook the hated earth, O tell me sooth, quy And cam'ft again to visit us once more?? jo si to Or wert thou that sweet smiling Youth? V:!?? Or that crown'd matron sage white-robed Truth? -54 Or any other of that heav'nly brood

[good ? Let down in cloudy throne to do the world some



in ?!? Or wert thou of the golden-winged hoft, s", tois Who having clad thyself in human weed, 9 *T To earth from thy prefixed seat didst post,


meanit Hebe, in Latin Juventa, or ". Or wert thou Mercy that sweet Youth. And Mr. Jortin communi.. smiling youth? " of two syllables is wanting to fill For. Mercy is often join'd with

up the measure of the verse. It Justice and Truth, as in the Hymn "" is easy to find fuch a word, but on the Nativity. St. 15.

impoisible to determin what word Yea Truth and Iufiice then * Milton would have inserted. He

Will down return to men, " uses Youth in the. feminine gen- Orb'd in a rainbow; and like " der, as the Latins sometimes use glories wearing

juvenis, and by this fair youth Merry will fit between &c. " he probably means the Goddess • Hebe, who was also called Ju- ed as a freet smiling youth, this age

And Mercy is not unfitly represent" ventas or Juventa." But others have propoled to fill up the verse being the most fulceptible of the

tender paffions. thus,

68. Or

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