by John Milton
To Mr. H. Lawes, on his Aires
February 9, 1646
Harry, whose tuneful and well-measur'd Song
First taught our English Musick 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 aire couldst humour best our tongue.
Thou honour'st Verse, and Verse must lend her wing
To honour thee, the Priest of Phœbus quire,
That tun'st 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.
Note: A recitation can be found here.
- Mark Olival-Bartley
- Mark Olival-Bartley studied applied linguistics at Hawaii Pacific University, attaining B.A. and M.A. degrees in TESOL, and poetry at the City College of New York. He is now anatomizing the prosody of E. A. Robinson’s sonnets for his dissertation at Amerika Institut of LMU Munich, where also he edits a poetry weekly. His poems and translations have appeared in journals on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the resident poet at EcoHealth, where his science-themed verse is regularly featured, and a senior copyeditor of Review of International American Studies.