Cyriac, whose grandsire on the royal bench Of British Themis, with no mean applause Pronounced and in his volumes taught our laws, Which others at their bar so often wrench; Today deep thoughts resolve with me to drench In mirth, that after no repenting draws; Let Euclid rest and Archimedes pause, And what the Swede intends, and what the French. To measure life learn thou betimes, and know Toward solid good what leads the nearest way; For other things mild Heav'n a time ordains, And disapproves that care, though wise in show, That with superfluous burden loads the day, And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.
Daughter to that good Earl, once President Of England's Council, and her Treasury, Who lived in both, unstained with gold or fee, And left them both, more in himself content, Till sad the breaking of that Parliament Broke him, as that dishonest victory At Chaeronea, fatal to liberty, Killed with report that old man eloquent. Though later born than to have known the days Wherein your father flourished, yet by you, Madam, methinks I see him living yet; So well your words his noble virtues praise, That all both judge you to relate them true, And to possess them, honoured Margaret.
He that can apprehend and consider vice with all her baits and seeming pleasures, and yet abstain, and yet distinguish, and yet prefer that which is truly better, he is the true wayfaring Christian. I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat. Assuredly we bring not innocence into the world, we bring impurity much rather: that which purifies us is trial, and trial is by what is contrary.
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 couldst humour best our tongue. Thou honour'st verse, and verse must lend her wing To honour thee, the priest of Phoebus' choir, That tun'st their happiest lines in hymn or story. Dante shall give Fame leave to set thee higher Than his Casella, whom he wooed to sing, Met in the milder shades of Purgatory.
John Milton (1608 - 1674)
Source: Sonnet XIII, To Mr H. Lawes on the Publishing His Airs