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To Mr. Lawrence

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Lawrence, of virtuous father virtuous son,
Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire,
Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire
Help waste a sullen day, what may be won
From the hard season gaining? Time will run
On smoother, till Favonius reinspire
The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire
The lily and rose, that neither sowed nor spun.
What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,
Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise
To hear the lute well touched, or artful voice
Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air?
He who of those delights can judge, and spare
To interpose them oft, is not unwise.

 

– John Milton

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When I Consider How My Light Is Spent

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When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

 

– John Milton

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14th December – On This Day In History

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Born:

1979 Michael Owen (footballer / soccer player)

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Died:

1799 George Washington (1st President of the USA)

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On This Day:

1819 Alabama becomes the 22nd State of the USA

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Have a good Friday, 14th December

Sonnet XVI – Cromwell,Our Chief Of Men

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To the Lord General Cromwell

On the Proposals of Certain Ministers of the Committee
for the Propagation of the Gospel

Cromwell, our chief of men, who through a cloud
Not of war only, but detractions rude,
Guided by faith and matchless fortitude,
To peace and truth thy glorious way hast ploughed,
And on the neck of crowned Fortune proud
Hast reared God’s trophies, and his work pursued,
While Darwen stream with blood of Scots imbrued,
And Dunbar field resounds thy praises loud,
And Worcester’s laureate wreath. Yet much remains
To conquer still; peace hath her victories
No less renowned than war: new foes arise,
Threat’ning to bind our souls with secular chains:
Help us to save free conscience from the paw
Of hireling wolves, whose gospel is their maw.

 

– John Milton

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13th December – On This Day In History

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Born:

1929 Christopher Plummer (actor)

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Died:

2006 Lamar Hunt (NFL owner – KC Chiefs)

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On This Day:

1643 The Battle of Alton, in Hampshire, takes place (English Civil War)

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Have a good Thursday, 13th December

12th December – On This Day In History

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Born:

1915 Frank Sinatra (singer & actor)

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Died:

1889 Robert Browning (poet)

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On This Day:

1963 Kenya declares its independence (from Britain – it was formerly British East Africa)

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Have a good Wednesday, 12th December

11th December – On This Day In History

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Born:

1961 Marco Pierre White (chef)

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Died:

2012 Ravi Shankar (musician)

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On This Day:

1816 Indiana becomes the 19th State of the USA

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Have a good Tuesday, 11th December