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John Milton

Portrait of Henry Lawes

To Mr. H. Lawes, on the publishing his Airs*

by John Milton

Harry, whose tuneful and well measured song
     First taught our English music how to span
     Words, with just note and accent, not to scan
     With Midas' ears, committing short and long;
Thy worth and skill exempts thee from the throng,
     With praise enough for Envy to look wan;
     To after age thou shalt be writ the man,
     That with smooth air, could'st humour best our tongue.
Thou honour'st verse, and verse must lend her wing
     To honour thee, the priest of Phoebus' quire,
     That tunest their happiest lines in hymn, or story.
Dante shall give Fame leave to set thee higher
     Than his Casella, whom he woo'd to sing,
     Met in the milder shades of Purgatory.

* Henry Lawes, composer of both church music and court masques.




The Poetical Works of John Milton.
        London: J. J. Chidley, 1847. 428-9.

to Works of John Milton

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Created by Anniina Jokinen on October 9, 1996. Last updated April 25, 2012.


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