Comus and other poems/Sonnets/Sonnet 8

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Comus and other poems by John Milton
To Mr. H. Lawes, on his Aires

To Mr. H. Lawes, on his Aires.

Harry whose tuneful and well measur'd Song

First taught our English Musick how to span
Words with just note and accent, not to scan
With Midas Ears, committing short and long;
Thy worth and skill exempts thee from the throng,
With praise enough for Envy to look wan;
To after age thou shalt be writ the man,
That with smooth aire couldst humor best our tongue.
Thou honour'st Verse, and Verse must send her wing
To honour thee, the Priest of Phœbus Quire
That tun'st their happiest lines in Hymn, or Story.
Dante shall give Fame leave to set thee higher
Then his Casella, whom he woo'd to sing
Met in the milder shades of Purgatory.