To Mr. Lawrence

Original Text: 
John Milton, Poems, 2nd edn. (London: Thomas Dring, 1673); facs. edn., Complete Poetical Works reproduced in photographic facsimile, comp. H. F. Fletcher (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1943-48). PR 3551 F52 Robarts Library
2     Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire,
3     Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire
4     Help waste a sullen day; what may be won
5From the hard season gaining? Time will run
7     The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire
9What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,
11     To hear the lute well touch'd, or artful voice
14     To interpose them oft, is not unwise.


1] This sonnet is addressed to Edward Lawrence (1633-79), son of Henry Lawrence, President of Cromwell's Council of State. Back to Line
6] Favonius: Zephyrus, the west wind. Back to Line
8] Cf. Matt. vi.28. Back to Line
10] Attic: i.e., frugal and refined. Back to Line
12] Tuscan air: the songs of Italy. Back to Line
13] spare to interpose them oft: refrain from indulging in them often; or, spare time to indulge in them often. The former accords better with the Horatian sentiment of the poem. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP.1.371; RPO 1996-2000.