Paradise Lost (111, 648 seq.) and found the archfiend himself providing warrant: “him Satan thus
Paradise Lost V, 805, 896, Abdiel is the “flaming
Paradise Lost IV, 788, Milton refers to Ithuriel as
Paradise Lost I, 478.
Paradise Lost VI, 447 as “of principalities the
Paradise Lost IV, Uzziel is commanded by Gabriel
Paradise Lost VI Zophiel reports to the heavenly
1 John Milton
NEW FULL DB (2.4M)
10 John Milton
6 Marcel Proust
5 John Milton
4 Samuel Johnson
2 Michael Goorjian
2 Holly Black
2 Helene Hanff
2 Dorothy L Sayers
2 A S Byatt
2 Andrew Lam
1:Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light. ~ John Milton, Paradise Lost ,
*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***
1:The only paradise is paradise lost. ~ Marcel Proust
2:The only true paradise is paradise lost ~ Marcel Proust
3:The only true paradise is a paradise lost ~ Marcel Proust
4:The ocean seemed like a sea of Eden. But now we are facing paradise lost. ~ Sylvia Earle
5:Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light. ~ John Milton, Paradise Lost,
6:Paradise Lost is a book that, once put down, is very hard to pick up again. ~ Samuel Johnson
7:A good deal of Paradise Lost strikes one as being almost as mechanical as bricklaying. ~ F R Leavis
8:These are thy glorious works, Parent of good. ~ John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book V, line 153
9:A man searching for paradise lost can seem a fool to those who never sought the other world. ~ Jim Morrison
10:I have never regretted Paradise Lost since I discovered that it contained no eggs-and-bacon. ~ Dorothy L Sayers
11:Ah! I have never regretted Paradise Lost since I discovered that it contained no eggs-and-bacon. ~ Dorothy L Sayers
12:The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” —John Milton, Paradise Lost ~ Mary Kubica
13:The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. —John Milton,
Paradise Lost ~ Jodi Picoult
14:Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep. —John Milton, Paradise Lost ~ Lisa Unger
15:I'm not really one for fancy, big words and poetry, and the scriptwriters worked very hard on 'Paradise Lost' to translate it. ~ Callan McAuliffe
16:Was I to have never parted from thy side?
As good have grown there still a lifeless rib.
Paradise Lost, Book IX, l. 1154 ~ John Milton
17:'Paradise Lost' is one of the books which the reader admires and lays down, and forgets to take up again. None ever wished it longer than it is. ~ John Milton
18:The Book of Revelation should be taken literally no less than the Book of Genesis. Paradise lost, in Genesis, becomes Paradise regained, in Revelation. ~ Henry M Morris
19:Metals of drossiest ore to perfect gold. ~ John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book V, line 439, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 19
20:...but which of us has read every line of the Iliad, or the Aeneid, or The Divine Comedy, or Paradise Lost? Only men of epic stomach can digest these epic tales. ~ Will Durant
21:The relevant poems are Milton's Paradise Lost, Pope's Essay on Man, Wordsworth's Excursion, Tennyson's In Memoriam. ~ Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (1925)
22:Philosophers in vain so long have sought. ~ John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book III, line 600. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 596-97.
23:Isn't the first story told in the West about the Fall? Adam and Eve were immigrants too from somewhere, a lost Eden, a paradise lost. We all now are so mobile, so nomadic . ~ Andrew Lam
24:We dream much of paradise, or rather of a number of successive paradises, but each of them is, long before we die, a paradise lost, in which we should feel ourselves lost too. ~ Marcel Proust
25:We dream much of Paradise, or rather of a number of successive Paradises, but each of them is, long before we die, a Paradise lost, in which we should feel ourselves lost also. ~ Marcel Proust
26:To admire Satan [in Paradise Lost] is to give one's vote not only for a world of misery, but also for a world of lies and propaganda, of wishful thinking, of incessant autobiography. ~ C S Lewis
27:Formerly Milton's Paradise Lost had been my chief favourite, and in my excursions during the voyage of the Beagle, when I could take only a single small volume, I always chose Milton. ~ Charles Darwin
28:AFER (A'FER) n.s.[Lat.]The southwest wind. With adverse blast upturns them from the south,Notus, and Afer, black with thund’rous clouds,From Sierra Liona.Milton’sParadise Lost,b. x. ~ Samuel Johnson
29:GURGE (GURGE) n.s.[gurges, Latin.]Whirlpool; gulf. Marching from Eden he shall findThe plain, wherein a black bituminous gurgeBoils out from under ground.Milton’sParadise Lost,b. xii. ~ Samuel Johnson
30:It is commonly asserted and accepted that Paradise Lost is among the two or three greatest English poems; it may justly be taken as the type of supreme poetic achievement in our literature. ~ John Drinkwater
31:What is there in 'Paradise Lost' to elevate and astonish like Herschel or Somerville? ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Quoted in Robert D. Richardson, Jr., Emerson, the Mind On Fire (Univ. of Calif Press 1995), p. 124
32:Nostalgia is not for the God who is missing to us, it is a nostalgia for ourselves, for we do not sustain ourselves; we miss our impossible grandeur - my unreachable nowness is my paradise lost. ~ Clarice Lispector
33:Or if they list to try
Conjecture, he his fabric of the Heavens
Hath left to their disputes, perhaps to move
His laughter at their quaint opinions wide."
John Milton, Paradise Lost viii 75-78 ~ John Milton
34:Because the great thing about fairy tales and folk tales is that there is no authentic text. It's not like the text of Paradise Lost or James Joyce's Ulysses, and you have to adhere to that exact text. ~ Philip Pullman
35:What in me is dark Illumine, what is low raise and support, That to the height of this great argument I may assert eternal Providence, And justify the ways of God to men. 1 Paradise Lost. Book i. Line 22. ~ John Milton
36:What in me is dark
Illumine, what is low raise and support,
That to the height of this great argument
I may assert eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men. 1
Paradise Lost. Book i. Line 22. ~ John Milton
37:I don't believe any of you have ever read Paradise Lost, and you don't want to. That's something that you just want to take on trust. It's a classic ... something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read. ~ Mark Twain
38:Paradise Lost Book 5: An Epitome
Speaking of Satan's reBellion from God:
"Chap was decidedly
Given to lewdness and
~ Anthony Evan Hecht
39:Th’ eternal eye, whose sight discerns Abstrusest thoughts, from forth his holy mount,And from within the golden lamps that burn Nightly before him, saw, without their light, Rebellion rising.Milton’sParadise Lost,b. v. ~ Samuel Johnson
40:John Milton famously claimed, "Fame is the spur" for the poet, and indeed when we consider the six years he spent writing Paradise Lost, and the additional years revising it, from 1664 to 1674, we may allow that spur. ~ Shirley Geok lin Lim
41:What in me is dark, Illumine; what is low, raise and support; That to the height of this great argument I may assert eternal Providence, And justify the ways of God to men. ~ John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book I, line 22
42:Paradise Lost is a poem. The old, blind bastard’s trying to sing to you. Listen, as the Isley Brothers say, to the music. You must learn to do that before you can expect to understand. Slowly. Slowly. A few licks at a time. ~ John Edgar Wideman
43:The glory of the disposition that stops to consider stimuli rather than rushing to engage with them is its long association with intellectual and artistic achievement. Neither E=mc2 nor Paradise Lost was dashed off by a party animal. ~ Susan Cain
44:There is only one sin and it is: weakness. When I was a boy, I read Milton's Paradise Lost. The only good man I had any respect for was Satan. The only saint is that person who never weakens, faces everything, and determines die game. ~ Swami Vivekananda
45:The journey to true happiness and to happiness now is not a journey of physical distance or time; it is one of personal "self-recovery," where we remember and reconnect consciously to an inner potential for joy--a paradise lost--waiting to be found. ~ Robert Holden
46:The Mona Lisa, the Mona Lisa....Leonardo had eye trouble....Art couldn't explain it....But now we're safe, since science can explain it. Maybe Milton wrote Paradise Lost because he was blind? And Beethoven wrote the Ninth Symphony because he was deaf... ~ William Gaddis
47:O fairest of creation, last and best Of all God's works, creature in whom excelled Whatever can to sight or thought be formed, Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet! How art thou lost, how on a sudden lost, Defaced, deflow'red, and now to death devote? Paradise Lost ~ John Milton
48:hell never came into my dreamings except in the interesting shape it took in "Paradise Lost." After reading that, the devil was to me no horned and hoofed horror, but the beautiful shadowed archangel, and I always hoped that Jesus, my ideal Prince, would save him in the end. ~ Annie Besant
49:Occasionally he will catch the whispers of this abandoned voice, in the afterglow of certain dreams with that lingering sense of a paradise lost, reminding him of another kind of life, the life he was always meant to live, but for whatever reason, he did not.1 ~ Michael Goorjian
50:Occasionally he will catch the whispers of this abandoned voice, in the afterglow of certain dreams with that lingering sense of a paradise lost, reminding him of another kind of life, the life he was always meant to live, but for whatever reason, he did not.1 ____________ ~ Michael Goorjian
51:All three of my books, "Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora," "East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres," and "Birds of Paradise Lost," are immigrant narratives - their dreams, their traumas, their struggles - and I write them with the confidence that these stories, written from the heart, will belong, in time, to America. ~ Andrew Lam
52:She was called Maria. She was a Maria Magdalena who washed away sins, and she was Venus Anadyomene to me, though she was ill-nourished I think since birth, my artist’s eye saw she was puny, though my lover’s eye saw her breasts as globes of milky marble, and the tuft between her legs as the bushes surrounding the gate to Paradise Lost—and Regained. ~ A S Byatt
53:Power justifies itself, in countless small ways. But one of the big ways it does so is by creating an ideological narrative about how things got to be this way—and what must now change. These narratives are more than technical explanations. They are epic morality tales, and they typically follow this sequence: Paradise Paradise Lost Paradise Redeemed ~ Eric Liu
54:I experienced the joy of living alone for the first time while also falling deeply in love with Eve. Genesis Eve. Mother of all the Living Eve. Paradise Lost Eve. Lover Eve. Sister Eve. My Eve. She, too, had made a decision that was both painful and liberating. I was thankful for her willingness to defy a rule for experience, for story, for possibility. --Kitty Taylor ~ Various
55:God isn't the son of Memory; He's the son of Immediate Experience. You can't worship a spirit in spirit, unless you do it now. Wallowing in the past may be good literature. As wisdom, it's hopeless. Time Regained is Paradise Lost, and Time Lost is Paradise Regained. Let the dead bury their dead. If you want to live at every moment as it presents itself, you've got to die to every other moment. ~ Aldous Huxley
56:Women ought to be religious; faith was the natural fragrance of their minds. The more incredible the things they believed, the more lovely was the act of belief. To him the story of "Paradise Lost" was as mythical as the "Odyssey"; yet when his mother read it aloud to him, it was not only beautiful but true. A woman who didn't have holy thoughts about mysterious things far away would be prosaic and commonplace, like a man. ~ Willa Cather
57:He shook his head slowly. “So young. Such a wonderful man. He was the youngest professor ever to get tenure there. I recall one of his colleagues said at his funeral that he was the only man he knew who could recite Paradise Lost beginning to end.” Jade shuddered. “A dubious distinction.” He was testing Thomas, but even this jab didn’t draw an angry response—only a disapproving stare. Very level man, very controlled, he thought. ~ Gregg Hurwitz
58:Mammon led them on, Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell From heav’n, for ev’n in heav’n his looks and thoughts Were always downward bent, admiring more The riches of Heav’ns pavement, trod’n Gold, Then aught divine or holy else enjoy’d In vision beatific; by him first Men also, and by his suggestion taught, Ransack’d the Center, and with impious hands Rifl’d the bowels of thir mother Earth For Treasures better hid. —MILTON, Paradise Lost ~ Neal Stephenson
59:The preliminaries were out of the way, the creative process was about to begin. The creative process, that mystic life force, that splurge out of which has come the Venus de Milo, the Mona Lisa, the Fantasie Impromptu, the Bayeux tapestries, Romeo and Juliet, the windows of Chartres Cathedral, Paradise Lost - and a pulp murder story by Dan Moody. The process is the same in all; if the results are a little uneven, that doesn't invalidate the basic similarity of origin. ~ Cornell Woolrich
60:. . man he made and for him built Magnificent this world, and earth his seat, Him lord pronounced; and, Oh indignity! Subjected to his service angel-wings, And flaming ministers to watch and tend Their earthly charge: Of these the vigilance I dread; and, to elude, thus wrapped in mist Of midnight vapor glide obscure, and pry In every bush and brake, where hap may find The serpent sleeping; in whose mazy folds To hide me, and the dark intent I bring. —PARADISE LOST, JOHN MILTON ~ Sandra Byrd
61:But say That death be not one stroke, as I supposed, Bereaving sense, but endless misery From this day onward, which I feel begun Both in me, and without me, and so last To perpetuity; ay me, that fear Comes thund'ring back with dreadful revolution On my defenceless head; both Death and I Am found eternal, and incorporate both, Nor I on my part single, in me all Paradise Lost Posterity stands cursed: fair patrimony That I must leave ye, sons; O were I able To waste it all myself, and leave ye none! ~ John Milton
62: ‘Paradise Lost’ was printed in an edition of no more than 1,500 copies and transformed the English language. Took a while. Wordsworth had new ideas about nature: Thoreau read Wordsworth, Muir read Thoreau, Teddy Roosevelt read Muir, and we got a lot of national parks. Took a century. What poetry gives us is an archive, the fullest existent archive of what human beings have thought and felt by the kind of artists who loved language in a way that allowed them to labor over how you make a music of words to render experience exactly and fully. ~ Robert Hass
63:Okay. how about that time when you smoked all that weed that you thought was laced with something? You fell into the tub, but you refused to get out because you were convinced that the back of your head was going to fall off? "That third story happened to a guy named Jace in my dorm. Me and Sam and another guy in our hall took turns reading "Paradise Lost" through the locked door. I think it made him more paranoid, though." "That's not true," he says. "Well, he *seemed* more paranoid to me," I say. "And he still gets a little weired out when any one mentions angels. ~ Holly Black
64:Okay. how about that time when you smoked all that weed that you thought was laced with something? You fell into the tub, but you refused to get out because you were convinced that the back of your head was going to fall off?
"That third story happened to a guy named Jace in my dorm. Me and Sam and another guy in our hall took turns reading "Paradise Lost" through the locked door. I think it made him more paranoid, though."
"That's not true," he says.
"Well, he *seemed* more paranoid to me," I say. "And he still gets a little weired out when any one mentions angels. ~ Holly Black
65:Thus repulsed, our final hope
Is flat despair: we must exasperate
The Almighty Victor to spend all his rage;
And that must end us; that must be our cure,
To be no more. Sad cure! for who would lose,
Though full of pain, this intellectual being,
Those thoughts that wander through eternity,
To perish rather, swallowed up and lost
In the wide womb of uncreated night,
Devoid of sense and motion? And who knows,
Let this be good, whether our angry Foe
Can give it, or will ever? How he can
Is doubtful; that he never will is sure.
John Milton, Belial
(Book II Paradise Lost) ~ John Milton
66:Richard III's monologue is not unlike Adolf Hitler's speech to his General Staff on 23 August 1939, in its utter lack of self-deception. The lack of self-deception is striking because most of us invent plausible reasons for doing something we know is wrong. Milton describes such rationalization in Paradise Lost in Eve, both before she eats the fruit of the forbidden tree and afterwards, when she justifies inducing Adam to eat:
So dear I love him, that with him all deaths
I could endure, without him live no life.
(Pl, IX. 832-33)
Eve makes this profession of love for Adam at the moment when she is, in effect, planning to kill him. ~ W H Auden
67:Think of this – that the writer wrote alone, and the reader read alone, and they were alone with each other. True, the writer may have been alone also with Spenser's golden apples in the Faerie Queene, Proserpina's garden, glistening bright among the place's ashes and cinders, may have seen in his mind's eye, apple of his eye, the golden fruit of the Primavera, may have seen Paradise Lost, in the garden where Eve recalled Pomona and Proserpina. He was alone when he wrote and he was not alone then, all these voices sang, the same words, golden apples, different words in different places, an Irish castle, un unseen cottage, elastic-walled and grey round blind eyes. ~ A S Byatt
68:Sometimes it comes down to a choice," Magnus said. "Between saving one person and saving the whole world. I've seen it happen, and I'm selfish enough to want the person who loves me to choose me. But Nephilim wil always choose the world. I look at Alec and I feel like Lucifer in Paradise Lost. 'Abashed the Devil stood, And felt how awful goodness is.' He meant it in the classical sense. 'Awful' as in inspiring awe. And awe is well and good, but it's poison to love. Love has to be between equals."
"He's just a boy," said Luke. "Alec--he's not perfect. And you're not fallen."
"We're all fallen," said Magnus, and he wrapped himself up in his chains and was silent. ~ Cassandra Clare
69:You see, none of these conflicts are about things that people only sort of like. It is always about love. You may think me blasphemous to use the Passion of the Christ as an example of drama, but not so: this is the one true story, the greatest story ever told, the tale of tales even as Christ is the King of Kings, and all truly inspired fairy tales and fiction have to contain some echo or reflection of the One True Tale, or else it is no tale of any power at all, merely a pastime.
The most powerful and potent tales, even when they are told awkwardly and without grace or poetry or craft, are stories of paradise lost and paradise regained; sacrifice, selfless love, forgiveness and salvation; stories of a man who learns better. ~ John C Wright
70:They may be despised, but God has made them like warriors, like David, who would go down into the pit in the depth of winter, and take the lion by the throat and kill him. We have people like that in our churches--I admit, only a few--who are not afraid to serve their God; who like Abdiel in John Milton’s Paradise Lost can be described as “faithful amongst the faithless found.” We have some who rise above the accepted way of the times, who refuse to bow to the god of money, who will not use the guarded language of too many modern ministers, but stand out for God’s gospel, who unfurl the banner of Christ, spotless and unstained by the doctrines of men. That is when they are mighty! They are mighty because God has put strength in them. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
71:We passionately long for there to be another life in which we shall be similar to what we are here below. But we do not pause to reflect that, even without waiting for that other life, in this life, after a few years, we are unfaithful to what we once were, to what we wished to remain immortally. Even without supposing that death is to alter us more completely than the changes that occur in the course of our lives, if in that other life we were to encounter the self that we have been, we should turn away from ourselves as from those people with whom we were once on friendly terms but whom we have not seen for years… We dream much of a paradise, or rather of a number of successive paradises, but each of them is, long before we die, a paradise lost, in which we should feel ourselves lost too. ~ Marcel Proust
72:I believe that the phrase ‘obligatory reading’ is a contradiction in terms; reading should not be obligatory. Should we ever speak of 'obligatory pleasure'? Pleasure is not obligatory, pleasure is something we seek. 'Obligatory happiness'! [...] If a book bores you, leave it; don’t read it because it is famous, don’t read it because it is modern, don’t read a book because it is old. If a book is tedious to you, leave it, even if that book is 'Paradise Lost' — which is not tedious to me — or 'Don Quixote' — which also is not tedious to me. But if a book is tedious to you, don't read it; that book was not written for you. Reading should be a form of happiness, so I would advise all possible readers of my last will and testament—which I do not plan to write— I would advise them to read a lot, and not to get intimidated by writers' reputations, to continue to look for personal happiness, personal enjoyment. It is the only way to read. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
73:At the bottom of the box were two big fairy-tale collections our father had sent us sometime after our parents divorced in 1963. I was four and my sister was five. We never saw him again. One book was a beautifully illustrated collection of Russian fairy tales inscribed, "To Rachel, from Daddy." The other, a book of Japanese fables, was inscribed to me. It had been years since I had opened them. I stared at the handwriting. Something seemed a bit off. Then it dawned on me - both inscriptions bore my own adolescent scrawl. I had always remembered the books and our father's dedications as proof of his love for us. Yet, how malleable our memories are, even if our brains are intact. Neuroscientists now suggest that while the core meaning of a long-term memory remains, the memory transforms each time we attempt to retrieve it. In fact, anatomical changes occur in the brain every single time we remember. As Proust said, "The only paradise is paradise lost. ~ Mira Bartok
74:Dad on Child-rearing: "There's no education superior to travel. Think of The Motorcycle Diaries, or what Montrose St. Millet wrote in Ages of Exploration: 'To be still is to be stupid. To be stupid is to die.' And so we shall live. Every Betsy sitting next to you in a classroom will only know Maple Street on which sits her boxy white house, inside of which whimper her boxy white parents. After your travels, you'll know Maple Street, sure, but also wilderness and ruins, carnivals and the moon. You'll know the man sitting on an apple crate outside a gas station in Cheerless, Texas, who lost his legs in Vietnam, the woman in the tollboth outside Dismal, Delaware, in possession of six children, a husband with black lung but no teeth. When a teacher asks the class to interpret Paradise Lost, no one will be able to grab your coattails, sweet, for you will be flying far, far out in front of them all. For them, you will be a speck somewhere above the horizon. And thus, when you're ultimately set loose upon the world..." He shrugged, his smile lazy as an old dog. "I suspect you'll have no choice but to go down in history. ~ Marisha Pessl
75:O soft embalmer of the still midnight!
Shutting, with careful fingers and benign,
Our gloom-pleas'd eyes, embower'd from the light,
Enshaded in forgetfulness divine;
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close,
In midst of this thine hymn, my willing eyes.
Or wait the Amen, ere thy poppy throws
Around my bed its lulling charities;
Then save me, or the passed day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes;
Save me from curious conscience, that still hoards
Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;
Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards,
And seal the hushed casket of my soul.
'This sonnet was first given by Lord Houghton among the Literary Remains in 1848. Keats appeared to have drafted twelve lines of it in the copy of Milton's Paradise Lost which he annotated and gave to Mr. and Mrs. Dilke; and there is a complete fair manuscript dated 1819 in Sir Charles Dilke's copy of Endymion.'
~ Poetical Works of John Keats, ed. H. Buxton Forman, Crowell publ. 1895. by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes
~ John Keats, Sonnet To Sleep
76:Son of Heav'n and Earth,
Attend: That thou art happy, owe to God,
That thou continu'st such, owe to thyself,
That is, to thy obedience; therein stand.
This was that caution giv'n thee; be advis'd.
God made thee perfect, not immutable;
And good he made thee, but to persevere
He left it in thy power, ordain'd thy will
By nature free, not overrul'd by Fate
Inextricable, or strict necessity;
Our voluntary service he requires,
Not our necessitated, such with him
Finds no acceptance, nor can find, for how
Can hearts, not free, be tri'd whether they serve
Willing or no, who will but what they must
By Destiny, and can no other choose?
Myself and all th'Angelic Host that stand
In sight of God enthron'd, our happy state
Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds;
On other surety none; freely we serve,
Because wee freely love, as in our will
To love or not; in this we stand or fall:
And some are fall'n, to disobedience fall'n,
And so from Heav'n to deepest Hell; O fall
From what high state of bliss into what woe!
--Archangel Raphael to Adam, Paradise Lost Book V ~ John Milton
77:He did. He researched her. Someone told him that she had a special interest in John Milton. It did not take long to discover the century to which this man belonged. A third-year literature student in Beard’s college who owed him a favor (for procuring tickets to a Cream concert) gave him an hour on Milton, what to read, what to think. He read “Comus” and was astounded by its silliness. He read through “Lycidas,” “Samson Agonistes,” and “Il Penseroso”— stilted and rather prissy in parts, he thought. He fared better with “Paradise Lost” and, like many before him, preferred Satan’s party to God’s. He, Beard, that is, memorized passages that appeared to him intelligent and especially sonorous. He read a biography, and four essays that he had been told were pivotal. The reading took him one long week. He came close to being thrown out of an antiquarian bookshop in the Turl when he casually asked for a first edition of “Paradise Lost.” He tracked down a kindly tutor who knew about buying old books and confided to him that he wanted to impress a girl with a certain kind of present, and was directed to a bookshop in Covent Garden where he spent half a term’s money on an eighteenth-century edition of “Areopagitica.” When he speed-read it on the train back to Oxford, one of the pages cracked in two. He repaired it with Sellotape. ~ Ian McEwan
78:John Milton (December 9, 1608 – November 8, 1674) was an English poet, prose polemicist, and civil servant for the English Commonwealth. Most famed for his epic poem Paradise Lost, Milton is celebrated as well for his eloquent treatise condemning censorship, Areopagitica. Long considered the supreme English poet, Milton experienced a dip in popularity after attacks by T.S. Eliot and F.R. Leavis in the mid 20th century; but with multiple societies and scholarly journals devoted to his study, Milton’s reputation remains as strong as ever in the 21st century. Very soon after his death – and continuing to the present day – Milton became the subject of partisan biographies, confirming T.S. Eliot’s belief that “of no other poet is it so difficult to consider the poetry simply as poetry, without our theological and political dispositions…making unlawful entry.” Milton’s radical, republican politics and heretical religious views, coupled with the perceived artificiality of his complicated Latinate verse, alienated Eliot and other readers; yet by dint of the overriding influence of his poetry and personality on subsequent generations—particularly the Romantic movement—the man whom Samuel Johnson disparaged as “an acrimonious and surly republican” must be counted one of the most significant writers and thinkers of all time. Source: Wikipedia ~ John Milton
79:All this was only, in my father's estimation, a means; the end was the Earthly Paradise, the translation of William Morris's 'News from Nowhere' into 'News from Somewhere.' Then Whitman's sense of abounding joy in his own and all creation's sensuality would sweep away the paltry backwaters of bourgeois morality; the horrors of industrial ugliness which Ruskin so eloquently denounced would dissolve, and die forgotten as a dream (phrases from hymns still washed about in my father's mind) as slums were transformed into garden cities, and the belching smoke of hateful furnaces into the cool elegance of electric power. As for the ferocious ravings of my namesake, Carlyle, about the pettifogging nature of modern industrial man's pursuits and expectations -- all that would be corrected as he was induced to spend ever more of his increasing leisure in cultural and craft activities; in the enjoyment of music, literature and art.
It was pefectly true -- a point that Will Straughan was liable to bring up at the Saturday evening gatherings -- that on the present form the new citizenry might be expected to have a marked preference for dog-racing over chamber music or readings from 'Paradise Lost,' but, my father would loftily point out, education would change all that. Education was, in fact, the lynchpin of the whole operation; the means whereby the Old Adam of the Saturday night booze-up, and fondness for Marie Lloyd in preference to Beatrice Webb, would be cast off, and the New Man be born as potential fodder for third Programmes yet to come. ~ Malcolm Muggeridge
80:The industrial revolution has held in contempt not only the 'obsolete skills' of those classes, but the concern for quality, for responsible workmanship and good work, that supported their skills. For the principle of good work it substituted a secularized version of the heroic tradition: the ambition to be a 'pioneer' of science or technology, to make a 'breakthrough' that will 'save the world' from some 'crisis' (which now is usually the result of some previous 'breakthrough').
The best example we have of this kind of hero, I am afraid, is the fallen Satan of Paradise Lost--Milton having undoubtedly having observed in his time the prototypes of industrial heroism. This is a hero who instigates and influences the actions of others, but does not act himself. His heroism is of the mind only--escaped as far as possible, not only from divine rule, from its place in the order of creation or the Chain of Being, but also from the influence of material creation:
A mind not to be chang'd by Place or Time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n
This would-be heroism is guilty of two evils that are prerequisite to its very identity: hubris and abstraction. The industrial hero supposes that 'mine own mind hath saved me'--and moreover that it may save the world. Implicit in this is the assumption that one's mind is one's own, and that it may choose its own place in the order of things; one usurps divine authority, and thus, in classic style, becomes the author of results that one can neither foresee nor control. ~ Wendell Berry
81:Quiller-Couch was all by himself my college education. I went down to the public library one day when I was seventeen looking for books on the art of writing, and found five books of lectures which Q had delivered to his students of writing at Cambridge. “Just what I need!” I congratulated myself. I hurried home with the first volume and started reading and got to page 3 and hit a snag: Q was lecturing to young men educated at Eton and Harrow. He therefore assumed that his students—including me—had read Paradise Lost as a matter of course and would understand his analysis of the “Invocation to Light” in Book 9. So I said, “Wait here,” and went down to the library and got Paradise Lost and took it home and started reading it and got to page 3, when I hit a snag: Milton assumed I’d read the Christian version of Isaiah and the New Testament and had learned all about Lucifer and the War in Heaven, and since I’d been reared in Judaism I hadn’t. So I said, “Wait here,” and borrowed a Christian Bible and read about Lucifer and so forth, and then went back to Milton and read Paradise Lost, and then finally got back to Q, page 3. On page 4 or 5, I discovered that the point of the sentence at the top of the page was in Latin and the long quotation at the bottom of the page was in Greek. So I advertised in the Saturday Review for somebody to teach me Latin and Greek, and went back to Q meanwhile, and discovered he assumed I not only knew all the plays of Shakespeare, and Boswell’s Johnson, but also the Second book of Esdras, which is not in the Old Testament and not in the New Testament, it’s in the Apocrypha, which is a set of books nobody had ever thought to tell me existed. So what with one thing and another and an average of three “Wait here’s” a week, it took me eleven years to get through Q’s five books of lectures. ~ Helene Hanff
82:Q (Quiller-Couch) was all by himself my college education. I went down to the public library one day when I was seventeen looking for books on the art of writing, and found five books of lectures which Q had delivered to his students of writing at Cambridge.
"Just what I need!" I congratulated myself. I hurried home with the first volume and started reading and got to page 3 and hit a snag:
Q was lecturing to young men educated at Eton and Harrow. He therefore assumed his students − including me − had read Paradise Lost as a matter of course and would understand his analysis of the "Invocation to Light" in Book 9. So I said, "Wait here," and went down to the library and got Paradise Lost and took it home and started reading it and got to page 3, when I hit a snag:
Milton assumed I'd read the Christian version of Isaiah and the New Testament and had learned all about Lucifer and the War in Heaven, and since I'd been reared in Judaism I hadn't. So I said, "Wait here," and borrowed a Christian Bible and read about Lucifer and so forth, and then went back to Milton and read Paradise Lost, and then finally got back to Q, page 3. On page 4 or 5, I discovered that the point of the sentence at the top of the page was in Latin and the long quotation at the bottom of the page was in Greek. So I advertised in the Saturday Review for somebody to teach me Latin and Greek, and went back to Q meanwhile, and discovered he assumed I not only knew all the plays by Shakespeare, and Boswell's Johnson, but also the Second books of Esdras, which is not in the Old Testament and not in the New Testament, it's in the Apocrypha, which is a set of books nobody had ever thought to tell me existed.
So what with one thing and another and an average of three "Wait here's" a week, it took me eleven years to get through Q's five books of lectures. ~ Helene Hanff
83:Here we should notice a peculiar fact: that there are movements which are both essentially involuntary and yet confined to persons - to creatures with a self-conscious perspective. Smiles and blushes are the two most prominent examples. Milton puts the point finely in Paradise Lost:
for smiles from Reason flow,
To brute denied, and are of love the food.
These physiognomic movements owe their rich intentionality to this involuntary character, for it is this which suggests that they show the other 'as he really is'. Hence they become the pivot and focus of our interpersonal responses, and of no response more than sexual desire. The voluntary smile is not a smile at all, but a kind of grimace which, while it may have its own species of sincerity—as in the smile of Royalty, which as it were pays lip-service to good nature — is not esteemed as an expression of the soul. On the contrary, it is perceived as a mask, which conceals the 'real being' of the person who wears it. Smiling must be understood as a response to another person, to a thought or perception of his presence, and it has its own intentionality. To smile is to smile at something or someone, and hence when we see someone smiling in the street we think of him as 'smiling to himself, meaning that there is some hidden object of his present thought and feeling.
The smile of love is a kind of intimate recognition and acceptance of the other's presence - an involuntary acknowledgement that his existence gives you pleasure.
The smile of the beloved is not flesh, but a kind of stasis in the movement of the flesh. It is a paradigm of 'incarnation': of the other made flesh, and so transforming the flesh in which he is made. Thus the smile of Beatrice conveys her spiritual reality; Dante must be fortified in order to bear it, for to look at it is to look at the sun (Paradiso, XXIII, 47—8): tu hai vedute cose, che possente set fatto a sostener lo riso mio. ~ Roger Scruton
84:My husband claims I have an unhealthy obsession with secondhand bookshops. That I spend too much time daydreaming altogether. But either you intrinsically understand the attraction of searching for hidden treasure amongst rows of dusty shelves or you don't; it's a passion, bordering on a spiritual illness, which cannot be explained to the unaffected.
True, they're not for the faint of heart. Wild and chaotic, capricious and frustrating, there are certain physical laws that govern secondhand bookstores and like gravity, they're pretty much nonnegotiable. Paperback editions of D. H. Lawrence must constitute no less than 55 percent of all stock in any shop. Natural law also dictates that the remaining 45 percent consist of at least two shelves worth of literary criticism on Paradise Lost and there should always be an entire room in the basement devoted to military history which, by sheer coincidence, will be haunted by a man in his seventies. (Personal studies prove it's the same man. No matter how quickly you move from one bookshop to the next, he's always there. He's forgotten something about the war that no book can contain, but like a figure in Greek mythology, is doomed to spend his days wandering from basement room to basement room, searching through memoirs of the best/worst days of his life.)
Modern booksellers can't really compare with these eccentric charms. They keep regular hours, have central heating, and are staffed by freshly scrubbed young people in black T-shirts. They're devoid of both basement rooms and fallen Greek heroes in smelly tweeds. You'll find no dogs or cats curled up next to ancient space heathers like familiars nor the intoxicating smell of mold and mildew that could emanate equally from the unevenly stacked volumes or from the owner himself. People visit Waterstone's and leave. But secondhand bookshops have pilgrims. The words out of print are a call to arms for those who seek a Holy Grail made of paper and ink. ~ Kathleen Tessaro
85:On Mr. Milton's Paradise Lost
When I beheld the Poet blind, yet bold,
In slender Book his vast Design unfold,
Messiah Crown'd, Gods Reconcil'd Decree,
Rebelling Angels, the Forbidden Tree,
Heav'n, Hell, Earth, Chaos, All; the Argument
Held me a while misdoubting his Intent,
That he would ruine (for I saw him strong)
The sacred Truths to Fable and old Song,
(So Sampson groap'd the Temples Posts in spight)
The World o'rewhelming to revenge his Sight.
Yet as I read, soon growing less severe,
I lik'd his Project, the success did fear;
Through that wide Field how he his way should find
O're which lame Faith leads Understanding blind;
Lest he perplext the things he would explain,
And what was easie he should render vain.
Or if a Work so infinite he spann'd,
Jealous I was that some less skilful hand
(Such as disquiet alwayes what is well,
And by ill imitating would excell)
Might hence presume the whole Creations day
To change in Scenes, and show it in a Play.
Pardon me, Mighty Poet, nor despise
My causeless, yet not impious, surmise.
But I am now convinc'd, and none will dare
Within thy Labours to pretend a Share.
Thou hast not miss'd one thought that could be fit,
And all that was improper dost omit:
So that no room is here for Writers left,
But to detect their Ignorance or Theft.
That Majesty which through thy Work doth Reign
Draws the Devout, deterring the Profane.
And things divine thou treats of in such state
As them preserves, and Thee in violate.
At once delight and horrour on us seize,
Thou singst with so much gravity and ease;
And above humane flight dost soar aloft,
With Plume so strong, so equal, and so soft.
The Bird nam'd from that Paradise you sing
So never Flags, but alwaies keeps on Wing.
Where couldst thou Words of such a compass find?
Whence furnish such a vast expense of Mind?
Just Heav'n Thee, like Tiresias, to requite,
Rewards with Prophesie thy loss of Sight.
Well might thou scorn thy Readers to allure
With tinkling Rhime, of thy own Sense secure;
While the Town-Bays writes all the while and spells,
And like a Pack-Horse tires without his Bells.
Their Fancies like our bushy Points appear,
The Poets tag them; we for fashion wear.
I too transported by the Mode offend,
And while I meant to Praise thee, must Commend.
Thy verse created like thy Theme sublime,
In Number, Weight, and Measure, needs not Rhime.
~ Andrew Marvell
86:Swift as a spirit hastening to his task
Of glory & of good, the Sun sprang forth
Rejoicing in his splendour, & the mask
Of darkness fell from the awakened Earth.
The smokeless altars of the mountain snows
Flamed above crimson clouds, & at the birth
Of light, the Ocean's orison arose
To which the birds tempered their matin lay,
All flowers in field or forest which unclose
Their trembling eyelids to the kiss of day,
Swinging their censers in the element,
With orient incense lit by the new ray
Burned slow & inconsumably, & sent
Their odorous sighs up to the smiling air,
And in succession due, did Continent,
Isle, Ocean, & all things that in them wear
The form & character of mortal mould
Rise as the Sun their father rose, to bear
Their portion of the toil which he of old
Took as his own & then imposed on them;
But I, whom thoughts which must remain untold
Had kept as wakeful as the stars that gem
The cone of night, now they were laid asleep,
Stretched my faint limbs beneath the hoary stem
Which an old chestnut flung athwart the steep
Of a green Apennine: before me fled
The night; behind me rose the day; the Deep
Was at my feet, & Heaven above my head
When a strange trance over my fancy grew
Which was not slumber, for the shade it spread
Was so transparent that the scene came through
As clear as when a veil of light is drawn
O'er evening hills they glimmer; and I knew
That I had felt the freshness of that dawn,
Bathed in the same cold dew my brow & hair
And sate as thus upon that slope of lawn
Under the self same bough, & heard as there
The birds, the fountains & the Ocean hold
Sweet talk in music through the enamoured air.
And then a Vision on my brain was rolled.
As in that trance of wondrous thought I lay
This was the tenour of my waking dream.
Methought I sate beside a public way
Thick strewn with summer dust, & a great stream
Of people there was hurrying to & fro
Numerous as gnats upon the evening gleam,
All hastening onward, yet none seemed to know
Whither he went, or whence he came, or why
He made one of the multitude, yet so
Was borne amid the crowd as through the sky
One of the million leaves of summer's bier.
Old age & youth, manhood & infancy,
Mixed in one mighty torrent did appear,
Some flying from the thing they feared & some
Seeking the object of another's fear,
And others as with steps towards the tomb
Pored on the trodden worms that crawled beneath,
And others mournfully within the gloom
Of their own shadow walked, and called it death
And some fled from it as it were a ghost,
Half fainting in the affliction of vain breath.
But more with motions which each other crost
Pursued or shunned the shadows the clouds threw
Or birds within the noonday ether lost,
Upon that path where flowers never grew;
And weary with vain toil & faint for thirst
Heard not the fountains whose melodious dew
Out of their mossy cells forever burst
Nor felt the breeze which from the forest told
Of grassy paths, & wood lawns interspersed
With overarching elms & caverns cold,
And violet banks where sweet dreams brood, but they
Pursued their serious folly as of old.
And as I gazed methought that in the way
The throng grew wilder, as the woods of June
When the South wind shakes the extinguished day.
And a cold glare, intenser than the noon
But icy cold, obscured with [[blank]] light
The Sun as he the stars. Like the young moon
When on the sunlit limits of the night
Her white shell trembles amid crimson air
And whilst the sleeping tempest gathers might
Doth, as a herald of its coming, bear
The ghost of her dead Mother, whose dim form
Bends in dark ether from her infant's chair,
So came a chariot on the silent storm
Of its own rushing splendour, and a Shape
So sate within as one whom years deform
Beneath a dusky hood & double cape
Crouching within the shadow of a tomb,
And o'er what seemed the head, a cloud like crape,
Was bent a dun & faint etherial gloom
Tempering the light; upon the chariot's beam
A Janus-visaged Shadow did assume
The guidance of that wonder-winged team.
The Shapes which drew it in thick lightnings
Were lost: I heard alone on the air's soft stream
The music of their ever moving wings.
All the four faces of that charioteer
Had their eyes banded . . . little profit brings
Speed in the van & blindness in the rear,
Nor then avail the beams that quench the Sun
Or that his banded eyes could pierce the sphere
Of all that is, has been, or will be done.
So ill was the car guided, but it past
With solemn speed majestically on . . .
The crowd gave way, & I arose aghast,
Or seemed to rise, so mighty was the trance,
And saw like clouds upon the thunder blast
The million with fierce song and maniac dance
Raging around; such seemed the jubilee
As when to greet some conqueror's advance
Imperial Rome poured forth her living sea
From senatehouse & prison & theatre
When Freedom left those who upon the free
Had bound a yoke which soon they stooped to bear.
Nor wanted here the true similitude
Of a triumphal pageant, for where'er
The chariot rolled a captive multitude
Was driven; althose who had grown old in power
Or misery,all who have their age subdued,
By action or by suffering, and whose hour
Was drained to its last sand in weal or woe,
So that the trunk survived both fruit & flower;
All those whose fame or infamy must grow
Till the great winter lay the form & name
Of their own earth with them forever low,
All but the sacred few who could not tame
Their spirits to the Conqueror, but as soon
As they had touched the world with living flame
Fled back like eagles to their native noon,
Of those who put aside the diadem
Of earthly thrones or gems, till the last one
Were there;for they of Athens & Jerusalem
Were neither mid the mighty captives seen
Nor mid the ribald crowd that followed them
Or fled before . . Now swift, fierce & obscene
The wild dance maddens in the van, & those
Who lead it, fleet as shadows on the green,
Outspeed the chariot & without repose
Mix with each other in tempestuous measure
To savage music. Wilder as it grows,
They, tortured by the agonizing pleasure,
Convulsed & on the rapid whirlwinds spun
Of that fierce spirit, whose unholy leisure
Was soothed by mischief since the world begun,
Throw back their heads & loose their streaming hair,
And in their dance round her who dims the Sun
Maidens & youths fling their wild arms in air
As their feet twinkle; they recede, and now
Bending within each other's atmosphere
Kindle invisibly; and as they glow
Like moths by light attracted & repelled,
Oft to new bright destruction come & go.
Till like two clouds into one vale impelled
That shake the mountains when their lightnings mingle
And die in rain,the fiery band which held
Their natures, snaps . . . ere the shock cease to tingle
One falls and then another in the path
Senseless, nor is the desolation single,
Yet ere I can say where the chariot hath
Past over them; nor other trace I find
But as of foam after the Ocean's wrath
Is spent upon the desert shore.Behind,
Old men, and women foully disarrayed
Shake their grey hair in the insulting wind,
Limp in the dance & strain, with limbs decayed,
Seeking to reach the light which leaves them still
Farther behind & deeper in the shade.
But not the less with impotence of will
They wheel, though ghastly shadows interpose
Round them & round each other, and fulfill
Their work and to the dust whence they arose
Sink & corruption veils them as they lie
And frost in these performs what fire in those.
Struck to the heart by this sad pageantry,
Half to myself I said, "And what is this?
Whose shape is that within the car? & why"-
I would have added"is all here amiss?"
But a voice answered . . "Life" . . . I turned & knew
(O Heaven have mercy on such wretchedness!)
That what I thought was an old root which grew
To strange distortion out of the hill side
Was indeed one of that deluded crew,
And that the grass which methought hung so wide
And white, was but his thin discoloured hair,
And that the holes it vainly sought to hide
Were or had been eyes."lf thou canst forbear
To join the dance, which I had well forborne,"
Said the grim Feature, of my thought aware,
"I will now tell that which to this deep scorn
Led me & my companions, and relate
The progress of the pageant since the morn;
"If thirst of knowledge doth not thus abate,
Follow it even to the night, but I
Am weary" . . . Then like one who with the weight
Of his own words is staggered, wearily
He paused, and ere he could resume, I cried,
"First who art thou?" . . . "Before thy memory
"I feared, loved, hated, suffered, did, & died,
And if the spark with which Heaven lit my spirit
Earth had with purer nutriment supplied
"Corruption would not now thus much inherit
Of what was once Rousseaunor this disguise
Stained that within which still disdains to wear it.
"If I have been extinguished, yet there rise
A thousand beacons from the spark I bore."
"And who are those chained to the car?" "The Wise,
"The great, the unforgotten: they who wore
Mitres & helms & crowns, or wreathes of light,
Signs of thought's empire over thought; their lore
"Taught them not thisto know themselves; their might
Could not repress the mutiny within,
And for the morn of truth they feigned, deep night
"Caught them ere evening." "Who is he with chin
Upon his breast and hands crost on his chain?"
"The Child of a fierce hour; he sought to win
"The world, and lost all it did contain
Of greatness, in its hope destroyed; & more
Of fame & peace than Virtue's self can gain
"Without the opportunity which bore
Him on its eagle's pinion to the peak
From which a thousand climbers have before
"Fall'n as Napoleon fell."I felt my cheek
Alter to see the great form pass away
Whose grasp had left the giant world so weak
That every pigmy kicked it as it lay
And much I grieved to think how power & will
In opposition rule our mortal day
And why God made irreconcilable
Good & the means of good; and for despair
I half disdained mine eye's desire to fill
With the spent vision of the times that were
And scarce have ceased to be . . . "Dost thou behold,"
Said then my guide, "those spoilers spoiled, Voltaire,
"Frederic, & Kant, Catherine, & Leopold,
Chained hoary anarch, demagogue & sage
Whose name the fresh world thinks already old
"For in the battle Life & they did wage
She remained conquerorI was overcome
By my own heart alone, which neither age
"Nor tears nor infamy nor now the tomb
Could temper to its object.""Let them pass"
I cried"the world & its mysterious doom
"Is not so much more glorious than it was
That I desire to worship those who drew
New figures on its false & fragile glass
"As the old faded.""Figures ever new
Rise on the bubble, paint them how you may;
We have but thrown, as those before us threw,
"Our shadows on it as it past away.
But mark, how chained to the triumphal chair
The mighty phantoms of an elder day
"All that is mortal of great Plato there
Expiates the joy & woe his master knew not;
That star that ruled his doom was far too fair
"And Life, where long that flower of Heaven grew not,
Conquered the heart by love which gold or pain
Or age or sloth or slavery could subdue not
"And near [[blank]] walk the [[blank]] twain,
The tutor & his pupil, whom Dominion
Followed as tame as vulture in a chain.
"The world was darkened beneath either pinion
Of him whom from the flock of conquerors
Fame singled as her thunderbearing minion;
"The other long outlived both woes & wars,
Throned in new thoughts of men, and still had kept
The jealous keys of truth's eternal doors
"If Bacon's spirit [[blank]] had not leapt
Like lightning out of darkness; he compelled
The Proteus shape of Nature's as it slept
"To wake & to unbar the caves that held
The treasure of the secrets of its reign
See the great bards of old who inly quelled
"The passions which they sung, as by their strain
May well be known: their living melody
Tempers its own contagion to the vein
"Of those who are infected with itI
Have suffered what I wrote, or viler pain!
"And so my words were seeds of misery
Even as the deeds of others.""Not as theirs,"
I saidhe pointed to a company
In which I recognized amid the heirs
Of Caesar's crime from him to Constantine,
The Anarchs old whose force & murderous snares
Had founded many a sceptre bearing line
And spread the plague of blood & gold abroad,
And Gregory & John and men divine
Who rose like shadows between Man & god
Till that eclipse, still hanging under Heaven,
Was worshipped by the world o'er which they strode
For the true Sun it quenched."Their power was given
But to destroy," replied the leader"I
Am one of those who have created, even
"If it be but a world of agony."
"Whence camest thou & whither goest thou?
How did thy course begin," I said, "& why?
"Mine eyes are sick of this perpetual flow
Of people, & my heart of one sad thought.
Speak.""Whence I came, partly I seem to know,
"And how & by what paths I have been brought
To this dread pass, methinks even thou mayst guess;
Why this should be my mind can compass not;
"Whither the conqueror hurries me still less.
But follow thou, & from spectator turn
Actor or victim in this wretchedness,
"And what thou wouldst be taught I then may learn
From thee.Now listen . . . In the April prime
When all the forest tops began to burn
"With kindling green, touched by the azure clime
Of the young year, I found myself asleep
Under a mountain which from unknown time
"Had yawned into a cavern high & deep,
And from it came a gentle rivulet
Whose water like clear air in its calm sweep
"Bent the soft grass & kept for ever wet
The stems of the sweet flowers, and filled the grove
With sound which all who hear must needs forget
"All pleasure & all pain, all hate & love,
Which they had known before that hour of rest:
A sleeping mother then would dream not of
"The only child who died upon her breast
At eventide, a king would mourn no more
The crown of which his brow was dispossest
"When the sun lingered o'er the Ocean floor
To gild his rival's new prosperity.
Thou wouldst forget thus vainly to deplore
"Ills, which if ills, can find no cure from thee,
The thought of which no other sleep will quell
Nor other music blot from memory
"So sweet & deep is the oblivious spell.
Whether my life had been before that sleep
The Heaven which I imagine, or a Hell
"Like this harsh world in which I wake to weep,
I know not. I arose & for a space
The scene of woods & waters seemed to keep,
"Though it was now broad day, a gentle trace
Of light diviner than the common Sun
Sheds on the common Earth, but all the place
"Was filled with many sounds woven into one
Oblivious melody, confusing sense
Amid the gliding waves & shadows dun;
"And as I looked the bright omnipresence
Of morning through the orient cavern flowed,
And the Sun's image radiantly intense
"Burned on the waters of the well that glowed
Like gold, and threaded all the forest maze
With winding paths of emerald firethere stood
"Amid the sun, as he amid the blaze
Of his own glory, on the vibrating
Floor of the fountain, paved with flashing rays,
"A shape all light, which with one hand did fling
Dew on the earth, as if she were the Dawn
Whose invisible rain forever seemed to sing
"A silver music on the mossy lawn,
And still before her on the dusky grass
Iris her many coloured scarf had drawn.
"In her right hand she bore a crystal glass
Mantling with bright Nepenthe;the fierce splendour
Fell from her as she moved under the mass
"Of the deep cavern, & with palms so tender
Their tread broke not the mirror of its billow,
Glided along the river, and did bend her
"Head under the dark boughs, till like a willow
Her fair hair swept the bosom of the stream
That whispered with delight to be their pillow.
"As one enamoured is upborne in dream
O'er lily-paven lakes mid silver mist
To wondrous music, so this shape might seem
"Partly to tread the waves with feet which kist
The dancing foam, partly to glide along
The airs that roughened the moist amethyst,
"Or the slant morning beams that fell among
The trees, or the soft shadows of the trees;
And her feet ever to the ceaseless song
"Of leaves & winds & waves & birds & bees
And falling drops moved in a measure new
Yet sweet, as on the summer evening breeze
"Up from the lake a shape of golden dew
Between two rocks, athwart the rising moon,
Moves up the east, where eagle never flew.
"And still her feet, no less than the sweet tune
To which they moved, seemed as they moved, to blot
The thoughts of him who gazed on them, & soon
"All that was seemed as if it had been not,
As if the gazer's mind was strewn beneath
Her feet like embers, & she, thought by thought,
"Trampled its fires into the dust of death,
As Day upon the threshold of the east
Treads out the lamps of night, until the breath
"Of darkness reillumines even the least
Of heaven's living eyeslike day she came,
Making the night a dream; and ere she ceased
"To move, as one between desire and shame
Suspended, I said'If, as it doth seem,
Thou comest from the realm without a name,
" 'Into this valley of perpetual dream,
Shew whence I came, and where I am, and why
Pass not away upon the passing stream.'
" 'Arise and quench thy thirst,' was her reply,
And as a shut lily, stricken by the wand
Of dewy morning's vital alchemy,
"I rose; and, bending at her sweet command,
Touched with faint lips the cup she raised,
And suddenly my brain became as sand
"Where the first wave had more than half erased
The track of deer on desert Labrador,
Whilst the fierce wolf from which they fled amazed
"Leaves his stamp visibly upon the shore
Until the second burstsso on my sight
Burst a new Vision never seen before.
"And the fair shape waned in the coming light
As veil by veil the silent splendour drops
From Lucifer, amid the chrysolite
"Of sunrise ere it strike the mountain tops
And as the presence of that fairest planet
Although unseen is felt by one who hopes
"That his day's path may end as he began it
In that star's smile, whose light is like the scent
Of a jonquil when evening breezes fan it,
"Or the soft note in which his dear lament
The Brescian shepherd breathes, or the caress
That turned his weary slumber to content.
"So knew I in that light's severe excess
The presence of that shape which on the stream
Moved, as I moved along the wilderness,
"More dimly than a day appearing dream,
The ghost of a forgotten form of sleep
A light from Heaven whose half extinguished beam
"Through the sick day in which we wake to weep
Glimmers, forever sought, forever lost.
So did that shape its obscure tenour keep
"Beside my path, as silent as a ghost;
But the new Vision, and its cold bright car,
With savage music, stunning music, crost
"The forest, and as if from some dread war
Triumphantly returning, the loud million
Fiercely extolled the fortune of her star.
"A moving arch of victory the vermilion
And green & azure plumes of Iris had
Built high over her wind-winged pavilion,
"And underneath aetherial glory clad
The wilderness, and far before her flew
The tempest of the splendour which forbade
Shadow to fall from leaf or stone;the crew
Seemed in that light like atomies that dance
Within a sunbeam.Some upon the new
"Embroidery of flowers that did enhance
The grassy vesture of the desart, played,
Forgetful of the chariot's swift advance;
"Others stood gazing till within the shade
Of the great mountain its light left them dim.
Others outspeeded it, and others made
"Circles around it like the clouds that swim
Round the high moon in a bright sea of air,
And more did follow, with exulting hymn,
"The chariot & the captives fettered there,
But all like bubbles on an eddying flood
Fell into the same track at last & were
"Borne onward.I among the multitude
Was swept; me sweetest flowers delayed not long,
Me not the shadow nor the solitude,
"Me not the falling stream's Lethean song,
Me, not the phantom of that early form
Which moved upon its motion,but among
"The thickest billows of the living storm
I plunged, and bared my bosom to the clime
Of that cold light, whose airs too soon deform.
"Before the chariot had begun to climb
The opposing steep of that mysterious dell,
Behold a wonder worthy of the rhyme
"Of him whom from the lowest depths of Hell
Through every Paradise & through all glory
Love led serene, & who returned to tell
"In words of hate & awe the wondrous story
How all things are transfigured, except Love;
For deaf as is a sea which wrath makes hoary
"The world can hear not the sweet notes that move
The sphere whose light is melody to lovers-
A wonder worthy of his rhymethe grove
"Grew dense with shadows to its inmost covers,
The earth was grey with phantoms, & the air
Was peopled with dim forms, as when there hovers
"A flock of vampire-bats before the glare
Of the tropic sun, bring ere evening
Strange night upon some Indian isle,thus were
"Phantoms diffused around, & some did fling
Shadows of shadows, yet unlike themselves,
Behind them, some like eaglets on the wing
"Were lost in the white blaze, others like elves
Danced in a thousand unimagined shapes
Upon the sunny streams & grassy shelves;
"And others sate chattering like restless apes
On vulgar paws and voluble like fire.
Some made a cradle of the ermined capes
"Of kingly mantles, some upon the tiar
Of pontiffs sate like vultures, others played
Within the crown which girt with empire
"A baby's or an idiot's brow, & made
Their nests in it; the old anatomies
Sate hatching their bare brood under the shade
"Of demon wings, and laughed from their dead eyes
To reassume the delegated power
Arrayed in which these worms did monarchize
"Who make this earth their charnel.Others more
Humble, like falcons sate upon the fist
Of common men, and round their heads did soar,
"Or like small gnats & flies, as thick as mist
On evening marshes, thronged about the brow
Of lawyer, statesman, priest & theorist,
"And others like discoloured flakes of snow
On fairest bosoms & the sunniest hair
Fell, and were melted by the youthful glow
"Which they extinguished; for like tears, they were
A veil to those from whose faint lids they rained
In drops of sorrow.I became aware
"Of whence those forms proceeded which thus stained
The track in which we moved; after brief space
From every form the beauty slowly waned,
"From every firmest limb & fairest face
The strength & freshness fell like dust, & left
The action & the shape without the grace
"Of life; the marble brow of youth was cleft
With care, and in the eyes where once hope shone
Desire like a lioness bereft
"Of its last cub, glared ere it died; each one
Of that great crowd sent forth incessantly
These shadows, numerous as the dead leaves blown
"In Autumn evening from a popular tree
Each, like himself & like each other were,
At first, but soon distorted, seemed to be
"Obscure clouds moulded by the casual air;
And of this stuff the car's creative ray
Wrought all the busy phantoms that were there
"As the sun shapes the cloudsthus, on the way
Mask after mask fell from the countenance
And form of all, and long before the day
"Was old, the joy which waked like Heaven's glance
The sleepers in the oblivious valley, died,
And some grew weary of the ghastly dance
"And fell, as I have fallen by the way side,
Those soonest from whose forms most shadows past
And least of strength & beauty did abide."
"Then, what is Life?" I said . . . the cripple cast
His eye upon the car which now had rolled
Onward, as if that look must be the last,
And answered. "Happy those for whom the fold
Composed at Lerici on the Gulf of Spezzia in the spring and early summer of 1822 -- the poem on which Shelley was engaged at the time of his death. Published by Mrs. Shelley in the Posthumous Poems of 1824, from a MS. (now in the Bodleian library), whose corrections, omitted words, passages of unrevised improvisation, difficult hand, and long inaccessibility have so far prevented much certainty in the establishment of a text.
Form: terza rima.
The reference to Dante's Divine Comedy in lines 471-76 and to Petrarch's Triumphs in the title (both of which, like The Triumph of Life, are written in terza
rima stanzas) suggests two probable models for the poem.
Mary Shelley's text seems impossible, but no textual authority has been
adduced for amending it. Misreading or miswriting of some kind must be
responsible for that apparently parallel, but conflicting, pair, "were there" and
"were neither." W. M. Rossetti makes some sense out of the passage by amending
"or" in 132 to "for" and "were there" in 134 to "whether", and by placing a
semi-colon at the end of 131.
Of Athens or Jerusalem. Commentators assume that the renouncing figures
of which Shelley is thinking are Socrates in Athens and Jesus in Jerusalem. But
the corruption of the text here makes any interpretation doubtful.
Grim Feature: a reminiscence of Paradise Lost, X, 279, where it
represents Death and carries the Latin meaning of "factura" or "creature."
Rousseau. Compare Byron's portrait of Rousseau in Childe Harold's
Pilgrimage, III, lxxvii-lxxxii.
Frederick and Paul, Catherine and Leopold: Frederick the Great of Prussia,
Czar Paul and Catherine the Great of Russia, and Leopold II of the Holy Roman
Plato. In the lines which follow, Shelley refers to the legend that Plato in
his old age fell in love with a boy, whose name, Aster, is Greek for a star as
well as for a particular (and short-lived) flower.
The tutor and his pupil: Aristotle and Alexander the Great.
The heirs of Caesar's crime from him to Constantine. Julius Caesar's
crime was to undermine the Roman republic and prepare the way for the
Roman emperors ("anarch chiefs" in 286), a procession of which up to
Constantine Shelley now observes.
Gregory and John. "Gregory the Great is appropriate, as the true founder
of the independent political power of the papacy. Which of many Johns is
involved, there is no way of telling" (H. Bloom).
Lucifer: the Morning Star.
The soft note in which his dear lament the Brescian shepherd breathes.
"The favourite song, 'Stanco di pascolar le peccorelle, [being weary of pasturing
the little sheep], is a Brescian national air" (Mrs. Shelley's note).
Iris: classical goddess of the rainbow.
Him: Dante in The Divine Comedy.
Here the MS. breaks off.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Triumph Of Life
6 Integral Yoga
4 Nolini Kanta Gupta
2 William Wordsworth
2 Sri Aurobindo
2 Jordan Peterson
2 H P Lovecraft
2 Wordsworth - Poems
2 Maps of Meaning
2 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02