To my Lord Fairfax
-- A sonnet, by John Milton
Fairfax, whose Name in Arms through Europe rings,
And fills all Mouths with Envy or with Praise,
And all her Jealous Monarchs with Amaze.
And Rumours loud which daunt remotest Kings,
Thy firm unshaken Valour ever brings
Victory home, while new Rebellions raise
Their Hydra-heads, and the false North displays
Her broken League to Imp her Serpent Wings:
O yet! a Nobler task awaits thy Hand,
For what can War, but Acts of War still breed
Till injur'd Truth from Violence be freed;
And publick Faith be rescu'd from the Brand
Of publick Fraud; in vain doth Valour bleed,
While Avarice and Rapine shares the Land.