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date: 21 May 2024

John Milton 1608–74
English poet 

  1. Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie.
    ‘Arcades’ (1645) l. 68
  2. Blest pair of Sirens, pledges of heaven's joy,
    Sphere-born harmonious sisters, Voice, and Verse.
    ‘At a Solemn Music’ (1645)
  3. Where the bright seraphim in burning row
    Their loud uplifted angel trumpets blow.
    ‘At a Solemn Music’ (1645)
  4. What hath night to do with sleep?
    Comus (1637) l. 122
  5. Come, knit hands, and beat the ground,
    In a light fantastic round.
    Comus (1637) l. 143
  6. How charming is divine philosophy!
    Not harsh and crabbèd, as dull fools suppose,
    But musical as is Apollo's lute.
    Comus (1637) l. 475
  7. And filled the air with barbarous dissonance.
    Comus (1637) l. 550
  8. Sabrina fair,
    Listen where thou art sitting
    Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave,
    In twisted braids of lilies knitting
    The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair.
    Sabrina, the nymph of the River Severn
    Comus (1637) l. 859 ‘Song’
  9. Hence, vain deluding joys,
    The brood of folly without father bred.
    ‘Il Penseroso’ (1645) l. 1
  10. Come, pensive nun, devout and pure,
    Sober, steadfast, and demure.
    ‘Il Penseroso’ (1645) l. 31
  11. Far from all resort of mirth,
    Save the cricket on the hearth.
    ‘Il Penseroso’ (1645) l. 81
  12. Where more is meant than meets the ear.
    ‘Il Penseroso’ (1645) l. 120
  13. Hide me from day's garish eye.
    ‘Il Penseroso’ (1645) l. 141
  14. And storied windows richly dight,
    Casting a dim religious light.
    ‘Il Penseroso’ (1645) l. 159
  15. Hence, loathèd Melancholy,
    Of Cerberus, and blackest Midnight born.
    ‘L'Allegro’ (1645) l. 1
  16. So buxom, blithe, and debonair.
    of Euphrosyne [Mirth], one of the three Graces
    ‘L'Allegro’ (1645) l. 24
  17. Nods, and becks, and wreathèd smiles.
    ‘L'Allegro’ (1645) l. 28
  18. Sport that wrinkled Care derides,
    And Laughter holding both his sides.
    Come, and trip it as ye go
    On the light fantastic toe.
    ‘L'Allegro’ (1645) l. 33
  19. Where perhaps some beauty lies,
    The cynosure of neighbouring eyes.
    ‘L'Allegro’ (1645) l. 79
  20. Towered cities please us then,
    And the busy hum of men.
    ‘L'Allegro’ (1645) l. 117
  21. Then to the well-trod stage anon,
    If Jonson's learnèd sock be on,
    Or sweetest Shakespeare fancy's child,
    Warble his native wood-notes wild.
    ‘L'Allegro’ (1645) l. 129
  22. Let us with a gladsome mind
    Praise the Lord, for he is kind,
    For his mercies ay endure,
    Ever faithful, ever sure.
    ‘Let us with a gladsome mind’ (1645); paraphrase of Psalm 136; see Bible
  23. Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once more
    Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never sere.
    ‘Lycidas’ (1638) l. 1
  24. For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime,
    Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer.
    ‘Lycidas’ (1638) l. 8
  25. To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,
    Or with the tangles of Neaera's hair.
    ‘Lycidas’ (1638) l. 68
  26. Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise
    (That last infirmity of noble mind)
    To scorn delights, and live laborious days.
    ‘Lycidas’ (1638) l. 70
  27. Comes the blind Fury with th' abhorrèd shears,
    And slits the thin-spun life.
    ‘Lycidas’ (1638) l. 75
  28. Their lean and flashy songs
    Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw,
    The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed.
    ‘Lycidas’ (1638) l. 125
  29. But that two-handed engine at the door
    Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.
    ‘Lycidas’ (1638) l. 130
  30. Look homeward angel now, and melt with ruth.
    ‘Lycidas’ (1638) l. 163
  31. At last he rose, and twitched his mantle blue:
    Tomorrow to fresh woods, and pastures new.
    ‘Lycidas’ (1638) l. 192
  32. The star-led wizards haste with odours sweet.
    ‘On the Morning of Christ's Nativity’ (1645) st. 4
  33. Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold.
    ‘On the Morning of Christ's Nativity’ (1645) ‘The Hymn’ st. 14
  34. The oracles are dumb,
    No voice or hideous hum
    Runs through the archèd roof in words deceiving.
    ‘On the Morning of Christ's Nativity’ (1645) ‘The Hymn’ st. 19
  35. New Presbyter is but old Priest writ large.
    ‘On the New Forcers of Conscience under the Long Parliament’ (1646)
  36. Fly envious Time, till thou run out thy race,
    Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours.
    ‘On Time’ (1645)
  37. Rhyme being…but the invention of a barbarous age, to set off wretched matter and lame metre.
    Paradise Lost (1667) ‘The Verse’ (preface, added 1668)
  38. Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
    Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
    Brought death into the world, and all our woe,
    With loss of Eden.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 1, l. 1
  39. Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 1, l. 16
  40. 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.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 1, l. 22; see Housman, Pope
  41. The infernal serpent; he it was, whose guile
    Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived
    The mother of mankind.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 1, l. 34
  42. No light, but rather darkness visible
    Served only to discover sights of woe.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 1, l. 63
  43. …What though the field be lost?
    All is not lost; the unconquerable will,
    And study of revenge, immortal hate,
    And courage never to submit or yield:
    And what is else not to be overcome?
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 1, l. 105
  44. To do aught good never will be our task,
    But ever to do ill our sole delight.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 1, l. 159
  45. And out of good still to find means of evil.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 1, l. 165
  46. The mind is its own place, and in itself
    Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 1, l. 254
  47. Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 1, l. 263
  48. Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks
    In Vallombrosa.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 1, l. 302
  49. First Moloch, horrid king besmeared with blood
    Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 1, l. 392
  50. And when night
    Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons
    Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 1, l. 500
  51. A shout that tore hell's concave, and beyond
    Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 1, l. 542
  52. Who overcomes
    By force, hath overcome but half his foe.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 1, l. 648
  53. Let none admire
    That riches grow in hell; that soil may best
    Deserve the precious bane.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 1, l. 690
  54. From morn
    To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve,
    A summer's day; and with the setting sun
    Dropped from the zenith like a falling star.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 1, l. 742
  55. Pandemonium, the high capital
    Of Satan and his peers.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 1, l. 756
  56. But all was false and hollow; though his tongue
    Dropped manna, and could make the worse appear
    The better reason.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 2, l. 112; see Aristophanes
  57. To perish rather, swallowed up and lost
    In the wide womb of uncreated night.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 2, l. 149
  58. Long is the way
    And hard, that out of hell leads up to light.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 2, l. 432
  59. A gulf profound as that Serbonian bog.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 2, l. 592
  60. Black it stood as night,
    Fierce as ten Furies, terrible as hell,
    And shook a dreadful dart.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 2, l. 670
  61. Chaos umpire sits,
    And by decision more embroils the fray.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 2, l. 907
  62. Unless th'Almighty Maker them ordain
    His dark materials to create more worlds.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 2, l. 915; see Pullman
  63. With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout,
    Confusion worse confounded.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 2, l. 995
  64. Dark with excessive bright.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 3, l. 380
  65. Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks
    Invisible, except to God alone.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 3, l. 683
  66. Me miserable! which way shall I fly
    Infinite wrath, and infinite despair?
    Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 4, l. 73
  67. Farewell remorse! All good to me is lost;
    Evil, be thou my good.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 4, l. 109
  68. He for God only, she for God in him.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 4, l. 299
  69. These two
    Emparadised in one another's arms
    The happier Eden, shall enjoy their fill
    Of bliss on bliss.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 4, l. 505
  70. With thee conversing I forget all time.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 4, l. 639
  71. Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
    Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 4, l. 677
  72. Him there they found
    Squat like a toad, close at the ear of Eve.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 4, l. 799
  73. But wherefore thou alone? Wherefore with thee
    Came not all hell broke loose?
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 4, l. 917
  74. My fairest, my espoused, my latest found,
    Heaven's last best gift, my ever new delight.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 5, l. 18
  75. Hear all ye angels, progeny of light,
    Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 5, l. 600; see Bible
  76. Still govern thou my song,
    Urania, and fit audience find, though few.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 7, l. 30
  77. Oft-times nothing profits more
    Than self esteem, grounded on just and right
    Well managed.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 8, l. 571
  78. As one who long in populous city pent,
    Where houses thick and sewers annoy the air.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 9, l. 445; see Keats
  79. Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat
    Sighing through all her works gave signs of woe
    That all was lost.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 9, l. 782
  80. O fairest of creation, last and best
    Of all God's works.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 9, l. 896
  81. Flesh of flesh,
    Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state
    Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 9, l. 914; see Bible
  82. Demoniac frenzy, moping melancholy
    And moon-struck madness.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 11, l. 485
  83. The evening star,
    Love's harbinger.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 11, l. 588
  84. A paradise within thee, happier far.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 12, l. 587
  85. The world was all before them, where to choose
    Their place of rest, and Providence their guide:
    They hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow,
    Through Eden took their solitary way.
    Paradise Lost (1667) bk. 12, l. 646
  86. Of whom to be dispraised were no small praise.
    Paradise Regained (1671) bk. 3, l. 56
  87. The childhood shows the man,
    As morning shows the day.
    Paradise Regained (1671) bk. 4, l. 220; see Wordsworth
  88. Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts
    And eloquence.
    Paradise Regained (1671) bk. 4, l. 240
  89. But headlong joy is ever on the wing.
    ‘The Passion’ (1645)
  90. Ask for this great deliverer now, and find him
    Eyeless in Gaza at the mill with slaves.
    Samson Agonistes (1671) l. 40
  91. O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon,
    Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse
    Without all hope of day!
    Samson Agonistes (1671) l. 80
  92. The sun to me is dark
    And silent as the moon.
    Samson Agonistes (1671) l. 86
  93. To live a life half dead, a living death.
    Samson Agonistes (1671) l. 100
  94. Nothing is here for tears, nothing to wail.
    Samson Agonistes (1671) l. 1721
  95. And calm of mind, all passion spent.
    Samson Agonistes (1671) l. 1758
  96. Time the subtle thief of youth.
    Sonnet 7 ‘How soon hath time’ (1645)
  97. Licence they mean when they cry liberty;
    For who loves that, must first be wise and good.
    Sonnet 12 ‘I did but prompt the age’ (1673)
  98. When I consider how my light is spent,
    E're half my days, in this dark world and wide,
    And that one talent which is death to hide
    Lodged with me useless.
    on his blindness
    Sonnet 16 ‘When I consider how my light is spent’ (1673)
  99. They also serve who only stand and wait.
    Sonnet 16 ‘When I consider how my light is spent’ (1673)
  100. Methought I saw my late espousèd saint
    Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave.
    Sonnet 19 ‘Methought I saw my late espousèd saint’ (1673)
  101. Cromwell, our chief of men.
    ‘To the Lord General Cromwell’ (written 1652)
  102. Peace hath her victories
    No less renowned than war.
    ‘To the Lord General Cromwell’ (written 1652)
  103. They who have put out the people's eyes, reproach them of their blindness.
    An Apology for Smectymnuus (1642)
  104. As good almost kill a man as kill a good book: who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were in the eye.
    Areopagitica (1644)
  105. A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.
    Areopagitica (1644)
  106. I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.
    Areopagitica (1644)
  107. Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, many opinions; for opinion in good men is but knowledge in the making.
    Areopagitica (1644)
  108. Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.
    Areopagitica (1644)
  109. Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?
    Areopagitica (1644)
  110. What I have spoken, is the language of that which is not called amiss The good old Cause.
    The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth (2nd ed., 1660); see Wordsworth