Sonnet 15: Fairfax, whose name in arms through Europe rings

By John Milton 1608–1674 John Milton

On the Lord General Fairfax at the Siege of Colchester

Fairfax, whose name in arms through Europe rings
      Filling each mouth with envy, or with praise,
      And all her jealous monarchs with amaze
      And rumours loud, that daunt remotest kings;
Thy firm unshak'n virtue ever brings
      Victory home, though new rebellions raise
      Their hydra heads, and the false north displays
      Her brok'n league, to imp their serpent wings:
O yet a nobler task awaits thy hand;
      For what can war but endless war still breed?
      Till Truth and Right from Violence be freed,
And Public Faith clear'd from the shameful brand
      Of Public Fraud. In vain doth Valour bleed
      While Avarice and Rapine share the land.

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Poet John Milton 1608–1674

POET’S REGION England

Subjects War & Conflict, Heroes & Patriotism, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 John  Milton

Biography

John Milton’s career as a writer of prose and poetry spans three distinct eras: Stuart England; the Civil War (1642-1648) and Interregnum, including the Commonwealth (1649-1653) and Protectorate (1654-1660); and the Restoration. When Elizabeth I, the so-called Virgin Queen and the last of the Tudors, died, James VI, King of Scots, was enthroned as Britain’s king. Titled James I, he inaugurated the House of Stuart. His son and . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT War & Conflict, Heroes & Patriotism, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION England

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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