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On the Lord General Fairfax at the Siege of Colchester

by John Milton, 1909

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 unshaken virtue ever brings
  Victory home, though new rebellions raise
  Their Hydra heads, and the false North displays
  Her broken 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 cleared from the shameful brand
  Of public fraud. In vain doth Valour bleed,
  While Avarice and Rapine share the land.

Published in The Complete Poems of John Milton

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