Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
To the Lord General Cromwell
By John Milton (1608–1674)
May 1652
On the proposalls of certaine ministers at the Committee for Propagation of the Gospell 1

CROMWELL, our cheif of men, who through a cloud
  Not of warr onely, but detractions rude,
  Guided by faith and matchless Fortitude
  To peace and truth thy glorious way hast plough’d,
And on the neck 2 of crowned Fortune proud        5
  Hast reard Gods Trophies, and his work pursu’d,
  While Darwen stream 3 with blood of Scotts imbru’d,
  And Dunbarr feild 4 resounds thy praises loud,
And Worsters 5 laureat wreath; yet much remaines
  To conquer still; peace hath her victories        10
  No less renownd then warr, new foes aries
Threatning to bind our soules with secular chaines:
  Helpe us to save free Conscience from the paw
  Of hireling wolves whose Gospell is their maw.
Note 1. On the proposalls of certaine ministers at the Committe for Propagation of the Gospell: “The committee for the propagation of the gospel was a committee of the Rump Parliament. It consisted of fourteen members, and had general administrative duties in church affairs, specially that of supplying spiritual destitution in the parishes. The proposals of certain ministers were fifteen proposals offered to the committee by John Owen, and other well-known ministers, in which they asked that the preachers should receive a public maintenance.” (Pattison). [back]
Note 2. On the neck: a Biblical phrase commonly used in the speech of the day. Cf. Gen. xlix. 8, “Thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies;” and Joshua, x. 24, “Come near, and put your feet upon the necks of these kings.” [back]
Note 3. Darwen stream: a stream flowing near Preston, where occurred Cromwell’s defeat of the Scotch, August 17, 1648. [back]
Note 4. Dunbar feild: where Cromwell on September 3, 1650, routed the Scottish army under Leslie. [back]
Note 5. Worster: Worcester, where on September 3, 1651, Cromwell defeated Charles and won his crowning victory. [back]

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