Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
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Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
 
I. When the Assault Was Intended to the City
By John Milton (1608–1674)
 
CAPTAIN, 1 or Clnel, or Knight in arms,
  Whose chance on these defenceless doors may seize,
  If deed of honor did thee ever please,
  Guard them, and him within protect from harms:
He can requite thee; for he knows the charms        5
  That call fame on such gentle acts as these,
  And he can spread thy name o’er land and seas,
  Whatever clime the sun’s bright circle warms.
Lift not thy spear against the Muses’ bower:
  The great Emathian conqueror 2 bid spare        10
  The house of Pindarus, when temple and tower
Went to the ground; and the repeated air
  Of sad Electra’s poet had the power
  To save the Athenian walls from ruin bare. 3
 
Note 1. In 1642, during the civil wars; when the army of Charles the First had arrived at Brentford, against the poet’s friends, the Republicans. [back]
Note 2. Alexander; when ninety thousand Thebans were killed, and thirty thousand taken prisoners. [back]
Note 3. During the conquest of Athens by Lysander, when some verses of Euripides happened to be sung at a banquet given to a council of war. [back]
 
 
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