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Milton, John

· William WORDSWORTH: London 1802 · JOHN MILTON: SONNET ON HIS BLINDNESS · John Milton: On time (Vertaling Cornelis W. Schoneveld) · John Milton: On Time · John Milton: On the Death of a Fair Infant Dying of a Cough · John Milton: On the University Carrier who sickn’d in the time of his vacancy · John Milton: At a Solemn Music (vertaling Cornelis W. Schoneveld) · John Milton: Light · John Milton: On time

William WORDSWORTH: London 1802

William Wordsworth
London 1802

Milton! thou should’st be living at this hour:
England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
Have forfeited their ancient English dower
Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;
Oh! raise us up, return to us again;
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.
Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart:
Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea:
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
So didst thou travel on life’s common way,
In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850)
Poem: London 1802
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive W-X, Milton, John, Wordsworth, Wordsworth, William


JOHN MILTON: SONNET ON HIS BLINDNESS

 milton_john

John Milton
(1608-1674)

Sonnet On his blindness

When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide,
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent

To serve therewith my maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?
I fondly ask; but Patience to prevent

That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts, who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best, his state

Is kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.

John Milton poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive M-N, Milton, John


John Milton: On time (Vertaling Cornelis W. Schoneveld)

John Milton

On Time

Fly envious Time, till thou run out thy race,

Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,

Whose speed is but the heavy plummets pace;

And glut thy self with what thy womb devours,

Which is no more than what is false and vain,

And merely mortal dross,

So little is our loss,

So little is thy gain;

For when as each thing bad thou hast entombed,

And last of all, thy greedy self consumed,

Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss

With an individual kiss,

And Joy shall overtake us as a flood;

When every thing that is sincerely good

And perfectly divine

With Truth, and Peace, and Love shall ever shine

About the supreme throne

Of him, to whose happy-making sight alone,

When once our heavenly-guided soul shall climb,

Then, all this earthy grossness quit,

Attired with stars we shall for ever sit,

Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee O Time.

 

 

John Milton

Op de Tijd

Vlieg Tijd, jaloers, tot waar je landing ligt,

Spoor loden uren en hun luie stappen aan

Met slechts de valkracht van hun zwaar gewicht;

Zwelg, en verslind wat door je buik kan gaan,

Al is ’t niet meer dan valsheid zonder zin,

Verderfelijk slechts en vies:

Zo klein is ons verlies,

Zo klein is jouw gewin;

Want als jij al het kwade hebt verdelgd,

En dan tot slot je gulzige zelf verzwelgt,

Dan zegent ons de eeuwigdurendheid

Met ’n kus elk toebereid,

En overspoelt ons vreugde als een vloed;

Als alles wat waarachtig is en goed

En opperst goddelijk

Steeds straalt in waarheid, vredig, liefderijk

Rondom de hoogste troon

Van Hem, wiens zaligmakende betoon

Eens onze ziel ten hemel begeleidt,

Dan zetelen wij, alle aardse grofheid kwijt,

Getooid met sterren in de eeuwigheid,

Met zeges op de Dood, het Lot en jou, O Tijd.

 

Vertaling; Cornelis W. Schoneveld (2012)

kempis.nl poetry magazine

More in: Archive M-N, Milton, John, More translations


John Milton: On Time

John Milton

(1608-1674 )

 

On Time

 

FLy envious Time, till thou run out thy race,

Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,

Whose speed is but the heavy Plummets pace;

And glut thy self with what thy womb devours,

Which is no more then what is false and vain,

And meerly mortal dross;

So little is our loss,

So little is thy gain.

For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb’d,

And last of all, thy greedy self consum’d,

Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss

With an individual kiss;

And Joy shall overtake us as a flood,

When every thing that is sincerely good

And perfectly divine,

With Truth, and Peace, and Love shall ever shine

About the supreme Throne

Of him, t’ whose happy-making sight alone,

When once our heav’nly-guided soul shall clime,

Then all this Earthy grosnes quit,

Attir’d with Stars, we shall for ever sit,

Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee O Time.

 

John Milton poetry

kempis.nl poetry magazine

More in: Archive M-N, Milton, John


John Milton: On the Death of a Fair Infant Dying of a Cough

John Milton

(1608-1674 )

 

Anno ætatis 17.

On the Death of a Fair Infant Dying of a Cough

I

O Fairest flower no sooner blown but blasted,

Soft silken Primrose fading timelesslie,

Summers chief honour if thou hadst out-lasted

Bleak winters force that made thy blossome drie;

For he being amorous on that lovely die

That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss

But kill’d alas, and then bewayl’d his fatal bliss.

 

II

For since grim Aquilo his charioter

By boistrous rape th’ Athenian damsel got,

He thought it toucht his Deitie full neer,

If likewise he some fair one wedded not,

Thereby to wipe away th’ infamous blot,

Of long-uncoupled bed, and childless eld,

Which ‘mongst the wanton gods a foul reproach was held.

 

III

So mounting up in ycie-pearled carr,

Through middle empire of the freezing aire

He wanderd long, till thee he spy’d from farr,

There ended was his quest, there ceast his care.

Down he descended from his Snow-soft chaire,

But all unwares with his cold-kind embrace

Unhous’d thy Virgin Soul from her fair biding place.

 

IV

Yet art thou not inglorious in thy fate;

For so Apollo, with unweeting hand

Whilome did slay 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.

 

V

Yet can I not perswade me thou art dead

Or that thy coarse corrupts in earths dark wombe,

Or that thy beauties lie in wormie bed,

Hid from the world in a low delved tombe;

Could Heav’n for pittie thee so strictly doom?

Oh no? for something in thy face did shine

Above mortalitie that shew’d thou wast divine.

 

VI

Resolve me then oh Soul most surely blest

(If so it be that thou these plaints dost hear)

Tell me bright Spirit where e’re thou hoverest

Whether above that high first-moving Spheare

Or in the Elisian fields (if such there were.)

Oh say me true if thou wert mortal wight

And why from us so quickly thou didst take thy flight.

 

VII

Wert thou some Starr which from the ruin’d roof

Of shak’t Olympus by mischance didst fall;

Which carefull Jove in natures true behoofe

Took up, and in fit place did reinstall?

Or did of late earths Sonnes besiege the wall

Of sheenie Heav’n, and thou some goddess fled

Amongst us here below to hide thy nectar’d head.

 

VIII

Or wert thou that just Maid who once before

Forsook the hated earth, O tell me sooth,

And cam’st again to visit us once more?

Or wert thou that sweet smiling Youth!

Or that crown’d Matron sage white-robed truth?

Or any other of that heav’nly brood

Let down in clowdie throne to do the world some good.

 

IX

Or wert thou of the golden-winged hoast,

Who having clad thy self in humane weed,

To earth from thy præfixed seat didst poast,

And after short abode flie back with speed,

As if to shew what creatures Heav’n doth breed,

Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire

To scorn the sordid world, and unto Heav’n aspire.

 

X

But oh why didst thou not stay here below

To bless us with thy heav’n-lov’d innocence,

To slake his wrath whom sin hath made our foe

To turn Swift-rushing black perdition hence,

Or drive away the slaughtering pestilence,

To stand ‘twixt us and our deserved smart

But thou canst best perform that office where thou art.

 

XI

Then thou the mother of so sweet a child

Her false imagin’d loss cease to lament,

And wisely learn to curb thy sorrows wild;

Think what a present thou to God hast sent,

And render him with patience what he lent;

This if thou do, he will an off-spring give

That till the worlds last end shall make thy name to live.

 

John Milton poetry

kempis.nl poetry magazine

More in: Archive M-N, Milton, John


John Milton: On the University Carrier who sickn’d in the time of his vacancy

John Milton

(1608-1674 )

 

On the University Carrier who sickn’d in the time of his vacancy, being forbid to go to London, by reason of the Plague

Here lies old Hobson, Death hath broke his girt,

And here alas, hath laid him in the dirt,

Or els the ways being foul, twenty to one,

He’s here stuck in a slough, and overthrown.

‘Twas such a shifter, that if truth were known,

Death was half glad when he had got him down;

For he had any time this ten yeers full,

Dodg’d with him, betwixt Cambridge and the Bull.

And surely, Death could never have prevail’d,

Had not his weekly cours of carriage fail’d;

But lately finding him so long at home,

And thinking now his journeys end was come,

And that he had tane up his latest Inne,

In the kind office of a Chamberlin

Shew’d him his room where he must lodge that night,

Pull’d off his Boots, and took away the light:

If any ask for him, it shall be sed,

Hobson has supt, and ‘s newly gon to bed.

 

Another on the Same

Here lieth one who did most truly prove,

That he could never die while he could move,

So hung his destiny never to rot

While he might still jogg on, and keep his trot,

Made of sphear-metal, never to decay

Untill his revolution was at stay.

Time numbers motion, yet (without a crime

‘Gainst old truth) motion number’d out his time;

And like an Engin mov’d with wheel and waight,

His principles being ceast, he ended strait,

Rest that gives all men life, gave him his death,

And too much breathing put him out of breath,

Nor were it contradiction to affirm

Too long vacation hastned on his term.

Meerly to drive the time away he sickn’d,

Fainted, and died, nor would with Ale be quickn’d;

Nay, quoth he, on his swooning bed outstretch’d,

If I may not carry, sure Ile ne’re be fetch’d,

But vow though the cross Doctors all stood hearers,

For one Carrier put down to make six bearers.

Ease was his chief disease, and to judge right,

He di’d for heavines that his Cart went light,

His leasure told him that his time was com,

And lack of load, made his life burdensom,

That even to his last breath (ther be that say’t)

As he were prest to death, he cry’d more waight;

But had his doings lasted as they were,

He had bin an immortall Carrier.

Obedient to the Moon he spent his date

In cours reciprocal, and had his fate

Linkt to the mutual flowing of the Seas,

Yet (strange to think) his wain was his increase:

His Letters are deliver’d all and gon,

Onely remains this superscription.

 

John Milton poetry

kempis.nl poetry magazine

More in: Archive M-N, Milton, John


John Milton: At a Solemn Music (vertaling Cornelis W. Schoneveld)

 

John Milton

(1608-1674)

 

At a Solemn Music

Blest pair of sirens, pledges of heaven’s joy,

Sphere-born, harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse,

Wed your divine sounds, and mixed power employ,

Dead things with inbreathed sense able to pierce;

And to our high-raised phantasy present

That undisturbed song of pure consent,

Ay sung before the sapphire-coloured throne

To Him that sits thereon,

With saintly shout, and solemn jubilee;

Where the bright seraphim, in burning row,

Their loud uplifted angel-trumpets blow;

And the cherubic host, in thousand choirs,

Touch their immortal harps of golden wires,

With those just spirits that wear victorious palms,

Hymns devout and holy psalms

Singing everlastingly;

That we on earth, with undiscording voice,

May rightly answer that melodious noise;

As once we did, till disproportioned sin

Jarred against nature’s chime, and with harsh din

Broke the fair music that all creatures made

To their great Lord, whose love their motion swayed

In perfect diapason, whilst they stood

In first obedience, and their state of good.

Oh, may we soon again renew that song,

And keep in tune with heaven, till God ere long,

To His celestial concert us unite,

To live with Him, and sing in endless morn of light!

1645

 

John Milton

Bij gewijde muziek

Brengers der hemelvreugd ons toegedacht,

Zusters der sferen, Zang en Poëzie,

Meng uw sirenenklank, versmelt uw kracht,

Dooradem dode stof met harmonie;

Geef onze hooggespannen fantasie

Die welgestemde, pure melodie,

Hem ongestoord gebracht, op zuivere toon,

Voor Zijn saffieren troon,

Met vroom gejuich en opgetogenheid;

Waar vurig rood de serafijnenstoet

Haar opgestoken hoorn luid schallen doet;

En ’t cherubijnenkoor, in duizendvoud,

De eeuwige harp bespeelt, besnaard in goud;

Waar zalige geesten bij hun zegepalm,

Heilige zang en vrome psalm

Zingen tot in eeuwigheid;

Opdat van wanklank vrij, ons aardse lied

Aan die welluidendheid recht weerklank biedt,

Zoâls ooit; tot onze mateloze schuld

d’ Natuur met dissonanten had gevuld

En de muziek der schepsels ruw verstoord,

Die steeds door d’ Allerhoogste was gehoord,

Wiens liefde hun klankenpracht was toegewijd

In de eerste staat van deugd en volgzaamheid.

Oh, zingen wij weldra opnieuw die zang,

Wijshoudend met de hemel, tot eerlang

God ons verenigt met zijn engelenkoor,

Bij Hem, voor zang in eindeloze ochtendgloor!

 

Vertaling Cornelis W. Schoneveld

Uit: Bestorm mijn hart, de beste Engelse gedichten uit de 16e-19e eeuw gekozen en vertaald door Cornelis W. Schoneveld, tweetalige editie. Rainbow Essentials no. 55, Uitgeverij Maarten Muntinga, Amsterdam, 2008, 296 pp, € 9,95 ISBN: 9789041740588

Kempis.nl poetry magazine

More in: Archive M-N, Milton, John, More translations


John Milton: Light

John Milton

(1608–1674)

 

  Light

 

Hail holy light, ofspring of Heav’n first-born,

Or of th’ Eternal Coeternal beam

May I express thee unblam’d? since God is light,

And never but in unapproached light

Dwelt from Eternitie, dwelt then in thee,

Bright effluence of bright essence increate.

Or hear’st thou rather pure Ethereal stream,

Whose Fountain who shall tell? before the Sun,

Before the Heavens thou wert, and at the voice

Of God, as with a Mantle didst invest

The rising world of waters dark and deep,

Won from the void and formless infinite.

Thee I re-visit now with bolder wing,

Escap’t the Stygian Pool, though long detain’d

In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight

Through utter and through middle darkness borne

With other notes then to th’ Orphean Lyre

I sung of Chaos and Eternal Night,

Taught by the heav’nly Muse to venture down

The dark descent, and up to reascend,

Though hard and rare: thee I revisit safe,

And feel thy sovran vital Lamp; but thou

Revisit’st not these eyes, that rowle in vain

To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn;

So thick a drop serene hath quencht thir Orbs,

Or dim suffusion veild. Yet not the more

Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt

Cleer Spring, or shadie Grove, or Sunnie Hill,

Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief

Thee Sion and the flowrie Brooks beneath

That wash thy hallowd feet, and warbling flow,

Nightly I visit: nor somtimes forget

Those other two equal’d with me in Fate,

So were I equal’d with them in renown.

Blind Thamyris and blind Maeonides,

And Tiresias and Phineus Prophets old.

Then feed on thoughts, that voluntarie move

Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful Bird

Sings darkling, and in shadiest Covert hid

Tunes her nocturnal Note. Thus with the Year

Seasons return, but not to me returns

Day, or the sweet approach of Ev’n or Morn,

Or sight of vernal bloom, or Summers Rose,

Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine;

But cloud in stead, and ever-during dark

Surrounds me, from the chearful waies of men

Cut off, and for the Book of knowledg fair

Presented with a Universal blanc

Of Natures works to mee expung’d and ras’d,

And wisdome at one entrance quite shut out.

So much the rather thou Celestial light

Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers

Irradiate, there plant eyes, all mist from thence

Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell

Of things invisible to mortal sight.

 

 

kempis.nl poetry magazine

More in: Archive M-N, Milton, John


John Milton: On time

 

John Milton

(1608–1674)


On Time


FLY envious Time, till thou run out thy race,

Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,

Whose speed is but the heavy Plummets pace;

And glut thy self with what thy womb devours,

Which is no more then what is false and vain,

And meerly mortal dross;

So little is our loss,

So little is thy gain.

For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb’d,

And last of all, thy greedy self consum’d,

Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss

With an individual kiss;

And Joy shall overtake us as a flood,

When every thing that is sincerely good

And perfectly divine,

With Truth, and Peace, and Love shall ever shine

About the supreme Throne

Of him, t’whose happy-making sight alone,

When once our heav’nly-guided soul shall clime,

Then all this Earthy grosnes quit,

Attir’d with Stars, we shall for ever sit,

Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee O Time.



Poem of the week

July 20, 2008

More in: Archive M-N, Milton, John


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