Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
To Cyriack Skinner
By John Milton (1608–1674)
CYRIACK, 1 whose Grandsire on the royal Bench
  Of Brittish Themis, 2 with no mean applause
  Pronounc’t and in his volumes taught our Lawes,
  Which others at their Barr so often wrench:
To day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench        5
  In mirth, that after no repenting drawes;
  Let Euclid rest and Archimedes pause, 3
  And what the Swede intend, and what the French. 4
To measure life, learn thou betimes, and know
  Toward solid good what leads the nearest way;        10
  For other things mild Heav’n a time ordains,
And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
  That with superfluous burden loads the day,
  And when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.
Note 1. Skinner’s grandsire was Sir Edward Coke, author of several legal treatises of the Laws of England of which the best known are the Institutes, in four parts, and the Reports, in thirteen volumes. [back]
Note 2. Themtis: goddess of justice. [back]
Note 3. Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause: Skinner was a student of mathematics and a novice in politics. [back]
Note 4. What the Swede intend, and what the French: “Skinner’s interests,” says Pattison, “are indicated as divided between foreign politics and mathematics;” the allusion in this line is to Charles X of Sweden who at that time was at war with Poland and Russia, and the conquest of the Spanish in the Netherlands by Louis XIV. [back]

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