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Deeming fome iland , oft , as sea - men tell , 205 With fixed anchor in his skaly
rind Moors by his fide under the lee , while night Invests the sea , and wished
morn delays : So stretch ' d out huge in length the Ar ' ch - Fiend lay Chain ' d on
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 ...
Satan alighted walks : a globe far off It seem ' d , now seems a boundless
continent Dark , waste , and wild , under the frown of Night Starless expos ' d ,
and ever - threatning storms 425 Of Chaos blust ' ring round , inclement sky ;
Save on that ...
of night - watch to walk the round of Paradise , appoints two strong Angels to
Adam ' s bower , left the evil Spirit should be there doing some harm to Adam or
Eve neeping ; there they find him at the ear of Eve , tempting her in a dream , and
Now had night measur ' d with her fhadowy cone 1 falf way up hill this vast
sublunar vault , And from their ivory port the Cherubim Forth issuing at th '
accustom ' d hour stood arm ' d To their night watches in warlike parade , 780
When Gabriel ...
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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.