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John Milton

Portrait of Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax, by Robert Walker (before 1658)


On the Lord Gen. Fairfax at the seige of Colchester.1

Fairfax, whose name in armes through Europe rings
     Filling each mouth with envy, or with praise,
     And all her jealous monarchs with amaze,
     And rumors loud, that daunt remotest kings,
Thy firm unshak'n vertue ever brings
     Victory home, though new rebellions raise
     Thir Hydra heads, & the fals North displaies
     Her brok'n league, to impe their serpent wings,
O yet a nobler task awaites thy hand;
     For what can Warr, but endless warr still breed,       10
     Till Truth, & Right from Violence be freed,
And Public Faith cleard from the shamefull brand
     Of Public Fraud.  In vain doth Valour bleed
     While Avarice, & Rapine share the land.

1 Milton's sonnet on Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax, was not published until 1694.
The text given here follows Milton's autograph manuscript at Cambridge.

Beeching, H. C., ed. The Poetical Works of John Milton.
        London: Henry Frowde, 1904. 87.

to Works of John Milton

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