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john milton Quotes

John Milton Quotes

Birth Date: 1799-06-23 (Sunday, June 23rd, 1799)
Date of Death: 1674-11-08 (Thursday, November 8th, 1674)


john milton life timeline

Areopagitica, a pamphlet decrying censorship, and written by John Milton is published.Wednesday, November 23rd, 1644
The blind and impoverished, John Milton sells the copyright of Paradise Lost for ?10.Wednesday, April 27th, 1667


    • Comus (1634)
    • Areopagitica (1644)
    • Paradise Lost (1667, 1674)
    • Paradise Regained (1671)
    • Samson Agonistes (1671)
    • What needs my Shakespeare for his honoured bones, The labor of an age in piled stones, Or that his hallowed relics should be hid Under a star-y-pointing pyramid? Dear son of memory, great heir of fame, What need'st thou such weak witness of thy name?
    • And so sepulchred in such pomp dost lie, That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.
    • How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth, Stol'n on his wing my three-and-twentieth year.
    • Captain or Colonel, or Knight in Arms, Whose chance on these defenceless doors may seize, If ever deed of honour did thee please, Guard them, and him within protect from harms.
    • The great Emathian conqueror bid spare The house of Pindarus, when temple and tower Went to the ground.
    • Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie.
    • Under the shady roof Of branching elm star-proof.
    • The lazy leaden-stepping Hours, Whose speed is but the heavy plummet's pace.
    • O nightingale, that on yon bloomy spray Warbl'st at eve, when all the woods are still.
    • Blest pair of Sirens, pledges of Heaven's joy,
    • Where the bright seraphim in burning row Their loud uplifted angel trumpets blow.
    • A poet soaring in the high reason of his fancies, with his garland and singing robes about him.
    • By labor and intent study (which I take to be my portion in this life), joined with the strong propensity of nature, I might perhaps leave something so written to after-times, as they should not willingly let it die.
    • He who would not be frustrate of his hope to write well hereafter in laudable things ought himself to be a true poem.
    • His words ... like so many nimble and airy servitors trip about him at command.
    • I will not deny but that the best apology against false accusers is silence and sufferance, and honest deeds set against dishonest words.
    • So little care they of beasts to make them men, that by their sorcerous doctrine of formalities, they take the way to transform them out of Christian men into judaizing beasts. Had they but taught the land, or suffered it to be taught, as Christ would it should have been in all plenteous dispensation of the word, then the poor mechanic might have so accustomed his ear to good teaching, as to have discerned between faithful teachers and false. But now, with a most inhuman cruelty, they who have put out the people's eyes, reproach them of their blindness; just as the Pharisees their true fathers were wont, who could not endure that the people should be thought competent judges of Christ's doctrine, although we know they judged far better than those great rabbis: yet 'this people,' said they, 'that know not the law is accursed.'
    • Truth...never comes into the world but like a bastard, to the ignominy of him that brought her forth.
    • Truth is as impossible to be soiled by any outward touch as the sunbeam.
    • Men of most renowned virtue have sometimes by transgressing most truly kept the law.
    • For other things mild Heav'n a time ordains, And disapproves that care, though wise in show, That with superfluous burden loads the day, And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.
    • For such kind of borrowing as this, if it be not bettered by the borrower, among good authors is accounted Plagiare.
    • None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license.
    • No man who knows aught, can be so stupid to deny that all men naturally were born free.
    • Peace hath her victories No less renowned than war.
    • When I consider how my light is spent, Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide, And that one talent which is death to hide Lodged with me useless.
    • Who best Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best: his state Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed, And post o'er land and ocean without rest; They also serve who only stand and wait.
    • Avenge, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints, whose bones Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold; Ev'n them who kept thy truth so pure of old When all our fathers worshipped stocks and stones Forget not.
    • Cyriack, whose Grandsire on the Royal Bench Of British Themis, with no mean applause Pronounced and in his volumes taught our Laws, Which others at their Bar so often wrench
    • Yet I argue not Against Heav'n's hand or will, nor bate one jot Of heart or hope; but still bear up, and steer Right onward.
    • Of which all Europe rings from side to side.
    • In mirth that after no repenting draws.
    • Lawrence, of virtuous father virtuous son
    • Methought I saw my late espoused saint Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave.
    • But oh! as to embrace me she inclined, I waked, she fled, and day brought back my night.
    • [Rhyme is] but the invention of a barbarous age, to set off wretched matter and lame Meter; ... Not without cause therefore some both Italian and Spanish poets of prime note have rejected rhyme, ... as have also long since our best English tragedies, as... trivial and of no true musical delight; which [truly] consists only in apt numbers, fit quantity of syllables, and the sense variously drawn out from one verse into another, not in the jingling sound of like endings, a fault avoided by the learned ancients both in poetry and all good oratory.
    • Such bickerings to recount, met often in these our writers, what more worth is it than to chronicle the wars of kites or crows flocking and fighting in the air?
    • For stories teach us, that liberty sought out of season, in a corrupt and degenerate age, brought Rome itself to a farther slavery: for liberty hath a sharp and double edge, fit only to be handled by just and virtuous men; to bad and dissolute, it becomes a mischief unwieldy in their own hands: neither is it completely given, but by them who have the happy skill to know what is grievance and unjust to a people, and how to remove it wisely; what good laws are wanting, and how to frame them substantially, that good men may enjoy the freedom which they merit, and the bad the curb which they need.
    • Madam, methinks I see him living yet; So well your words his noble virtues praise, That all both judge you to relate them true, And to possess them, honour'd Margaret.
    • Such as may make thee search the coffers round.
    • O fairest flower! no sooner blown but blasted, Soft silken primrose fading timelessly.
    • Thy liquid notes that close the eye of day.
    • As ever in my great Taskmaster's eye.
    • That old man eloquent.
    • That would have made Quintilian stare and gasp.
    • License they mean when they cry, Liberty! For who loves that must first be wise and good.
    • What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice, Of Attic taste?
    • Have hung My dank and dropping weeds To the stern god of sea.
    • Beholding the bright countenance of truth in the quiet and still air of delightful studies.
    • By this time, like one who had set out on his way by night, and travelled through a region of smooth or idle dreams, our history now arrives on the confines, where daylight and truth meet us with a clear dawn, representing to our view, though at a far distance, true colours and shapes.
    • This is the month, and this the happy morn, Wherein the Son of Heav'n's eternal King, Of wedded maid and virgin mother born, Our great redemption from above did bring; For so the holy sages once did sing, That He our deadly forfeit should release, And with His Father work us a perpetual peace.
    • It was the winter wild While the Heav'n-born child All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies.
    • No war, or battle's sound Was heard the world around. The idle spear and shield were high up hung.
    • Time will run back and fetch the Age of Gold.
    • Swinges the scaly horror of his folded tail.
    • The oracles are dumb, No voice or hideous hum Runs through the arched roof in words deceiving. Apollo from his shrine Can no more divine, With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving. No nightly trance or breathed spell Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the prophetic cell.
    • From haunted spring and dale Edged with poplar pale The parting genius is with sighing sent.
    • Peor and Baalim Forsake their temples dim.
    • Hence, loathed Melancholy, Of Cerberus and blackest Midnight born, In Stygian cave forlorn, 'Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights unholy.
    • Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee Jest, and youthful jollity, Quips and cranks and wanton wiles, Nods and becks and wreathed smiles.
    • Sport, that wrinkled Care derides, And Laughter, holding both his sides. Come, and trip it, as you go. On the light fantastic toe.
    • The mountain nymph, sweet Liberty.
    • Mirth, admit me of thy crew, To live with her, and live with thee, In unreproved pleasures free.
    • While the cock with lively din Scatters the rear of darkness thin, And to the stack, or the barn door, Stoutly struts his dames before, Oft list'ning how the hounds and horn Cheerly rouse the slumb'ring morn.
    • And every shepherd tells his tale Under the hawthorn in the dale.
    • Meadows trim, with daisies pied, Shallow brooks, and rivers wide; Towers and balements it sees Bosomed high in tufted trees, Where perhaps some beauty lies, The cynosure of neighboring eyes.
    • Herbs, and other country messes, Which the neat-handed Phillis dresses.
    • And the jocund rebecks sound To many a youth, and many a maid, Dancing in the checkered shade. And young and old come forth to play On a sunshine holiday.
    • Then to the spicy nut-brown ale.
    • Then lies him down the lubber fiend, And stretched out all the chimney's length, Basks at the fire his hairy strength.
    • Towered cities please us then, And the busy hum of men.
    • Ladies, whose bright eyes Rain influence, and judge the prize.
    • And pomp, and feast, and revelry, With mask, and antique pageantry, Such sights as youthful poets dream On summer eves by haunted stream. Then to the well-trod stage anon, If Jonson's learned sock be on, Or sweetest Shakespeare, Fancy's child, Warble his native wood-notes wild, And ever, against eating cares, Lap me in soft Lydian airs, Married to immortal verse Such as the meeting soul may pierce, In notes with many a winding bout Of linked sweetness long drawn out.
    • Untwisting all the chains that tie The hidden soul of harmony.
    • Such strains as would have won the ear Of Pluto, to have quite set free His half-regained Eurydice. These delights, if thou canst give, Mirth, with thee, I mean to live.
    • Hence vain deluding Joys, The brood of Folly without father bred!
    • The gay motes that people the sunbeams.
    • And looks commercing with the skies, Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes.
    • Forget thyself to marble.
    • And join with thee, calm Peace and Quiet, Spare Fast, that oft with gods doth diet.
    • And add to these retired Leisure, That in trim gardens takes his pleasure.
    • Sweet bird, that shunn'st the noise of folly, Most musical, most melancholy!
    • I walk unseen On the dry smooth-shaven green, To behold the wandering moon, Riding near her highest noon, Like one that had been led astray Through the heav'n's wide pathless way, And oft, as if her head she bowed, Stooping through a fleecy cloud.
    • Oft, on a plat of rising ground, I hear the far-off curfew sound Over some wide-watered shore, Swinging low with sullen roar.
    • Where glowing embers through the room Teach light to counterfeit a gloom, Far from all resort of mirth, Save the cricket on the hearth.
    • Sometime let gorgeous Tragedy In sceptred pall come sweeping by, Presenting Thebes, or Pelops' line, Or the tale of Troy divine.
    • But, O sad Virgin, that thy power Might raise Musaeus from his bower, Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing Such notes as warbled to the string, Drew Iron tears down Pluto's cheek, And made Hell grant what Love did seek.
    • Or call up him that left half told The story of Cambuscan bold.
    • Where more is meant than meets the ear.
    • When the gust hath blown his fill, Ending on the rustling leaves With minute drops from off the eaves.
    • Hide me from day's garish eye, While the bee with honied thigh, That at her flowery work doth sing, And the waters murmuring With such consort as they keep, Entice the dewy-feathered sleep.
    • And storied windows richly dight, Casting a dim religious light. There let the pealing organ blow, To the full-voiced choir below, In service high, and anthems clear As may, with sweetness, through mine ear Dissolve me into ecstasies, And bring all heaven before mine eyes.
    • Till old experience do attain To something like prophetic strain.
    • Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once more Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never sere, I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude, And with forced fingers rude Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year.
    • He knew Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme.
    • Without the meed of some melodious tear.
    • Under the opening eyelids of the morn, We drove afield; and both together heard What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn, Batt'ning our flocks with the fresh dews of night.
    • But O the heavy change, now thou art gone, Now thou art gone and never must return!
    • The gadding vine.
    • Alas! what boots it with incessant care To tend the homely slighted shepherd's trade, And strictly meditate the thankless Muse? Were it not better done as others use, To sport with Amaryllis in the shade, Or with the tangles of Neaera's hair? Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise (That last infirmity of noble mind) To scorn delights, and live laborious days; But the fair guerdon when we hope to find, And think to burst out into sudden blaze, Comes the blind Fury with th' abhorred shears, And slits the thin-spun life.
    • Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil.
    • It was that fatal and perfidious bark, Built in th' eclipse, and rigged with curses dark, That sunk so low that sacred head of thine.
    • Last came, and last did go, The Pilot of the Galilean lake; Two massy keys he bore of metals twain, (The golden opes, the iron shuts amain).
    • Blind mouths! That scarce themselves know how to hold A sheep-hook.
    • The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed, But swoln with wind and the rank mist they draw, Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread: Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw Daily devours apace, and nothing said; But that two-handed engine at the door Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.
    • Throw hither all your quaint enamell'd eyes That on the green turf suck the honied showers, And purple all the ground with vernal flowers. Bring the rathe primrose that forsaken dies, The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine, The white pink, and the pansy freakt with jet, The glowing violet, The musk-rose, and the well-attir'd woodbine, With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head, And every flower that sad embroidery wears.
    • Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides, Where thou perhaps under the whelming tide Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous world.
    • Look homeward, Angel, now, and melt with ruth.
    • For Lycidas your sorrow is not dead, Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor; So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed; And yet anon repairs his drooping head, And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore Flames in the forehead of the morning sky. So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high, Through the dear might of him that walked the waves.
    • He touch'd the tender stops of various quills, With eager thought warbling his Doric lay.
    • At last he rose, and twitched his mantle blue: Tomorrow to fresh woods and pastures new.
    • Litigious terms, fat contentions, and flowing fees.
    • I shall detain you no longer in the demonstration of what we should not do, but straight conduct ye to a hillside, where I will point ye out the right path of a virtuous and noble education; laborious indeed at the first ascent, but else so smooth, so green, so full of goodly prospect and melodious sounds on every side that the harp of Orpheus was not more charming.
    • Inflamed with the study of learning and the admiration of virtue; stirred up with high hopes of living to be brave men and worthy patriots, dear to God, and famous to all ages.
    • Ornate rhetoric thought out of the rule of Plato... To which poetry would be made subsequent, or indeed rather precedent, as being less subtle and fine, but more simple, sensuous, and passionate.
    • In those vernal seasons of the year, when the air is calm and pleasant, it were an injury and sullenness against Nature not to go out, and see her riches, and partake in her rejoicing with heaven and earth.
    • Attic tragedies of stateliest and most regal argument.
    • john milton

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