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The secrets of the hoary deep , a dark Illimitable ocean , without bound , Without
dimension , where length , breadth , and highth , And time , and place are loft ;
where eldest Night And Chaos , ancestors of nature , hold 895 Eternal anarchy ...
What the Wisdom dark and deep , ] For the world of Solomon says of Wisdom , he
was only in a state of fluidity , when applies to Light , VII . 25 , 26 . She the light
was created ; as Moses is a pure influence flowing from the says , The Spirit of ...
... various motions , or are turn ' d By his magnetic beam , that gently warms The
universe , and to each inward part With gentle penetration , though unseen ,
Shoots invisible virtue ev ' n to the deep ; So wondroully was fet his station bright .
Mean while Uriel descending on a funbeam warns Gabriel , who had in charge
the gate of Paradise , that some evil Spirit had escap ' d the deep , and pass ' d at
noon by his sphere in the shape of a good Angel down to Paradise , discovered ...
Which way I Ay is Hell ; myself am Hell ; And in the lowest deep a lower deep Still
threatning to devour me opens wide , To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heaven .
O then at last relent : is there no place Left for repentance , none for pardon left ...
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Chronicles the rise and fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. Begins with the crowning of the Son of God, moves to Lucifer's rebellion and fall, the beginning of the Earth, the birth of Adam and Eve, and how they fell prey to Satan's fraud.
Written in 10 syllable per line prose, which must have been very difficult. Milton was blind, which makes the accomplishment even more amazing. Parts of the book were wonderfully written (the battles with Satan, Eden, the creation of the Earth, the coming events as Adam and Eve are escorted from Eden by Archangel Michael), but others are difficult with many references to Greek characters. I'm sure Milton was brilliant, but those parts don't add much for me and make it seem as though he's being pretentious. I also disliked the way all the characters addressed each other: "Lo, great angel from Heaven, graceful and true of spirit." The pictures of the story in the book, while they received vast praise in the preface, were forgettable.
Still, I can't get away from the amazing work that Milton put here. My only real compliant was the blatant sexism that Adam had for Eve, assuming she was always inferior to him. That is no longer the way of the world, and I doubt Adam would have treated Eve thusly. Sin, Death. Satan, Michael and Raphael were my favorite characters, all providing memorable lines.