Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
II. On the Detraction Which Followed upon the Writing of Certain Treatises
By John Milton (1608–1674)
I DID but prompt the age to quit their clogs
  By the known rules of ancient liberty,
  When straight a barbarous noise environs me
  Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes, and dogs:
As when those hinds that were transformed to frogs,        5
  Railed at Latona’s twin-born progeny,
  Which after held the sun and moon in fee. 1
  But this is got by casting pearl to hogs,
That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood,
  And still revolt when truth would set them free.        10
  License they mean, when they cry Liberty;
For who loves that, must first be wise and good;
  But from that mark how far they rove we see,
  For all this waste of wealth, and loss of blood.
Note 1. The story of the peasants in Ovid, who were thus transformed for insulting Latona and her babes, Apollo and Diana. [back]

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