Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
To a Virtuous Young Lady
By John Milton (1608–1674)
 
LADY that in the prime of earliest youth,
  Wisely hath shun’d the broad way and the green, 1
  And with those few art eminently seen,
That labour up the Hill of heav’nly Truth,
The better part with Mary and with Ruth,        5
  Chosen thou hast, and they that overween,
  And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen,
  No anger find in thee, but pity and ruth.
Thy care is fixt and zealously attends
  To fill thy odorous Lamp with deeds of light,        10
  And Hope that reaps not shame. 2 Therefore be sure
Thou, when the Bridegroom with his feastfull friends
  Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night,
  Hast gain’d thy entrance, Virgin wise and pure.
 
Note 1. The broad way and the green: Cf. Matthew vii. 13, 14, “Broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction … and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life.” [back]
Note 2. Hope that reaps not shame: Cf. Romans, v. 5, “And hope that maketh not ashamed.” [back]
 
 
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