Paradise Lost and Other Poems (Signet Classics)
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With the three works included in this volume--Paradise Lost, Samson Agonistes, and Lycidas--Milton placed himself next to Shakespeare, Dante, and Homer as one of the greatest literary genius in history.
with warriors mixed, Assemble, and harangues are heard, but soon In factious opposition, till at last Of middle age one rising,° eminent In wise deport, spake much of right and wrong, Of justice, or religion, truth, and peace, And judgement from above: him old and young Exploded,° and had seized with violent hands, Had not a cloud descending snatched him thence, Unseen amid the throng. So violence Proceeded, and oppression, and sword-law, Through all the plain, and refuge none was
thing commendable nor the intention of this discourse.” The same author was also commissioned to do Observations upon the Articles of Peace with the Irish Rebels. Thus, after having moved into official quarters in Whitehall, Milton, despite failing health and eyesight, laboured valiantly for the republican regime, writing state letters in Latin and taking on, by assignment, one opponent after another. The most famous internationally of these was not the late King, who, most scholars agree, had
lost, where eldest Night And Chaos, ancestors of Nature, hold Eternal anarchy, amidst the noise Of endless wars, and by confusion stand. For Hot, Cold, Moist, and Dry, four champions fierce,° Strive here for mastery, and to battle bring Their embryon atoms: they around the flag Of each his faction, in their several clans, Light-armed or heavy, sharp, smooth, swift, or slow, Swarm populous, unnumbered as the sands Of Barca or Cyrene’s° torrid soil, Levied to side with warring winds and
had his powerful destiny ordained Me some inferior Angel, I had stood Then happy; no unbounded hope had raised Ambition. Yet why not? some other Power As great might have aspired, and me, though mean, Drawn to his part; but other Powers as great Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within Or from without, to all temptations armed. Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand? Thou hadst. Whom hast thou then, or what, to accuse,32—41 Milton’s nephew said he saw this speech to the Sun
To heavenly souls had been all one, but now I see that most through sloth had rather serve, Ministering Spirits, trained up in feast and song: Such hast thou armed, the minstrelsy of Heaven, Servility with freedom to contend, As both their deeds compared this day shall prove.” ‘To whom, in brief, thus Abdiel stern replied: “Apostate, still thou err’st, nor end wilt find Of erring, from the path of truth remote; Unjustly thou deprav’st it with the name Of servitude, to serve whom God