Betwixt Damiata and mount Cafius old , , ; Where armies whole have funk : the
parching air Burns frore , and cold performs th ' effect of fire . 595 Thither by harpy
- footed furies hald At certain revolutions all the damnd Are brought ; and feel by ...
Swift to their several quarters hasted then The cumbrous elements , earth , flood ,
air , fire ; 715 And this ethereal quintessence of Heaven Flew upward , spirited
with various forms , That rolld orbicular , and turn ' d to stars Numberless , as thou
to me the most exquisite , or those The poet opens this book with a which are not
so obvious to ordi . wish in the manner of Shakespear , nary readers . Every one
that has for a Mufe of fire & c . Prolog . ta read the critics who have written Henry ...
Here in close recess With flowers , garlands , and sweet - smelling herbs
Espoused Eve deck ' d first her nuptial bed , 710 And heav ' nly quires the
hymenæan fung , What day the genial Angel to our fire Brought her in naked
beauty more ...
Moon , that now meet ' st the orient sun , now fly ' st , With the fix ' d stars , fix ' d in
their orb that flies , 176 And ye five other wand ' ring fires that move In mystic
dance not without song , resound His praise , who out of darkness call ' d up light
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Chronicles the rise and fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. Begins with the crowning of the Son of God, moves to Lucifer's rebellion and fall, the beginning of the Earth, the birth of Adam and Eve, and how they fell prey to Satan's fraud.
Written in 10 syllable per line prose, which must have been very difficult. Milton was blind, which makes the accomplishment even more amazing. Parts of the book were wonderfully written (the battles with Satan, Eden, the creation of the Earth, the coming events as Adam and Eve are escorted from Eden by Archangel Michael), but others are difficult with many references to Greek characters. I'm sure Milton was brilliant, but those parts don't add much for me and make it seem as though he's being pretentious. I also disliked the way all the characters addressed each other: "Lo, great angel from Heaven, graceful and true of spirit." The pictures of the story in the book, while they received vast praise in the preface, were forgettable.
Still, I can't get away from the amazing work that Milton put here. My only real compliant was the blatant sexism that Adam had for Eve, assuming she was always inferior to him. That is no longer the way of the world, and I doubt Adam would have treated Eve thusly. Sin, Death. Satan, Michael and Raphael were my favorite characters, all providing memorable lines.