The Annotated Milton: Complete English Poems by Burton RaffelThe Annotated Milton: Complete English Poems by Burton Raffel

The Annotated Milton: Complete English Poems

EditorBurton Raffel

Mass Market Paperback

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Affordable, compact, and authoritative, this one-volume edition of The Annotated Milton encompasses the monumental sweep of John Milton’s poetry. Here are Milton’ s early works, including his first great poem, “On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity,” the light and lyrical “L’Allegro” and “Il Penseroso,” the masque Comus, and the lushly beautiful pastoral elegy “Lycidas.” Here, too, included in their entirety, are the three epic poems considered to be among the finest works in the English language: Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes.

Fully annotated by Burton Raffel, this distinguished edition clarifies the complex allusions of Milton’s verse and references the personal, religious, historical, and mythical influences that inspired the great blind poet of England, who ranks among the undisputed giants of world literature.
Burton Raffel is a translator, poet, and scholar whose major translations include The Canterbury Tales, Beowulf, Don Quijote, The Red and the Black, and Gargantua and Pantagruel. He has also annotated several Shakespeare plays for Yale University Press. He was the Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Arts and Humanities and emeritus pro...
Title:The Annotated Milton: Complete English PoemsFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:864 pages, 6.8 × 4.16 × 1.74 inPublisher:Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0553581104

ISBN - 13:9780553581102

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Read from the Book

A PARAPHRASE ON PSALM 1141624When the blest seed of Terah's faithful sonAfter long toil their liberty had won,And passed from Pharian fields to Canaan land,Led by the strength of the Almighty's hand,Jehovah's wonders were in Israel shown,His praise and glory was in Israel known.That saw the troubled sea, and shivering fled,And sought to hide his froth-becurled headLow in the earth. Jordan's clear streams recoil,As a faint host that hath received the foil.    The high, huge-bellied mountains skip like ramsAmongst their ewes, the little hills like lambs.Why fled the oceans and why skipped the mountains?Why turned Jordan toward his crystal fountains?Shake earth, and at the presence be aghastOf Him that ever was, and aye shall last,That glassy floods from rugged rocks can crush,And make soft rills from fiery flint-stones gush.PSALM 1361624Let us with a gladsome mindPraise the Lord, for He is kind,For His mercies aye endure,Ever faithful, ever sure.Let us blaze His name abroad,For of gods He is the God,For His, etc.O let us His praises tell,Who doth the wrathful tyrants quell,For His, etc.That with His miracles doth makeAmazed Heav'n and earth to shake,For His, etc.Who by His wisdom did createThe painted Heav'ns so full of state,For His, etc.Who did the solid earth ordainTo rise above the wat'ry plain,For His, etc.Who by His all-commanding mightDid fill the new-made world with light,For His, etc.And caused the golden-tressed sunAll the day long his course to run,For His, etc.The horned moon to shine by night,Amongst her spangled sisters bright,For His, etc.He with His thunder-clasping handSmote the first-born of Egypt land,For His, etc.And in despite of Pharaoh fell,He brought from thence His Israel,For His, etc.The ruddy waves He cleft in twain,Of the Erythraean main,For His, etc.The floods stood still like walls of glassWhile the Hebrew bands did pass,For His, etc.But full soon they did devourThe tawny king with all his power,For His, etc.His chosen people He did blessIn the wasteful wilderness,For His, etc.In bloody battle He brought downKings of prowess and renown,For His, etc.He foiled bold Seon and his host,That ruled the Amorrean coast,For His, etc.And large-limbed Og He did subdue,With all his over-hardy crew,For His, etc.And to His servant IsraelHe gave their land, therein to dwell,For His, etc.He hath with a piteous eyeBeheld us in our misery,For His, etc.And freed us from the slaveryOf the invading enemy,For His, etc.All living creatures He doth feed,And with full hand supplies their need,For His, etc.Let us therefore warble forthHis mighty majesty and worth,For His, etc.That His mansion hath on high,Above the reach of mortal eye,For His mercies aye endure,Ever faithful, ever sure.ON THE DEATH OF A FAIR INFANT DYING OF A COUGH1625-26? 1628? IO fairest flower no sooner blown but blasted,Soft silken primrose fading timelessly,Summer's chief honor if thou hadst outlastedBleak winter's force, that made thy blossom dry,For he being amorous on that lovely dyeThat did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss,But killed, alas, and then bewailed his fatal bliss.IIFor since grim Aquilo, his  charioteer,By boisterous rape th' Athenian damsel got,He thought it touched32 his deity full nearIf likewise he some fair one wedded not,Thereby to wipe away the infamous blotOf long-uncoupled bed and childless eld,Which 'mongst the wanton gods a foul reproach was held.IIISo mounting up in icy-pearled carThrough middle empire of the freezing airHe wandered long, till thee he spied from far.There ended was his quest, there ceased his care:Down he descended from his snow-soft chair,But all unwares with his cold-kind embraceUnhoused thy virgin soul from her fair biding place.IVYet art thou not inglorious in thy fate,For so Apollo, with unweeting hand,Whilom did slay his dearly loved mate,Young Hyacinth, born on Eurotas' strand,Young Hyacinth, the pride of Spartan land,But then transformed him to a purple flower:Alack, that so to change thee winter had no power.VYet can I not persuade me thou art deadOr that thy corpse corrupts in earth's dark womb,Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed,Hid from the world in a low-delved tomb.Could Heav'n, for pity, thee so strictly doom?Oh no! for something in thy face did shineAbove mortality that showed thou wast divine.VIResolve me, then, O soul most surely blest(If so it be that thou these plaints dost hear)!Tell me, bright spirit, where'er thou hoverest,Whether above that high, first-moving sphereOr in the Elysian fields (if such there were),Oh say me true if thou were mortal wightAnd why from us so quickly thou didst take thy flight.VIIWere thou some star which from the ruined roofOf shaked Olympus by mischance didst fall?Which careful Jove in Nature's true behoofTook up, and in fit place did reinstall?Or did, of late, earth's sons besiege the wallOf shiny Heav'n, and thou some goddess fledAmongst us here below to hide thy nectared head?VIIIOr were thou that just maid who once beforeForsook the hated earth, O tell me sooth,And cam'st again to visit us once more?Or wert thou Mercy, that sweet smiling youth?Or that crowned matron, sage white-robed Truth?Or any other of that heav'nly broodLet down in cloudy throne to do the world some good?IXOr wert thou of the golden-winged host,Who having clad thyself in human weedTo earth from thy prefixed seat didst post,And after short abode fly back with speed,As if to show what creatures Heav'n doth breed,Thereby to set the hearts of men on fireTo scorn the sordid world, and unto Heav'n aspire?XBut oh, why didst thou not stay here belowTo bless us with thy Heav'n-loved innocence?To slake his wrath, whom sin hath made our foe?To turn swift-rushing black perdition hence,Or drive away the slaughtering pestilence?To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart?But thou canst best perform that office where thou art.XIThen thou, the mother of so sweet a child,Her false-imagin'd loss cease to lament,And wisely learn to curb thy sorrows wild.Think what a present thou to God has sent,And render Him with patience what he lent.This if thou do, He will an offspring giveThat till the world's last end shall make thy name to live.AT A VACATION EXERCISE IN THE COLLEGE, PART LATIN, PART ENGLISH1628 The Latin speeches ended, the English thus began:Hail, native language, that by sinews weakDidst move my first endeavoring tongue to speakAnd mad'st imperfect words with childish trips,Half unpronounced, slide through my infant lips,Driving dumb silence from the portal door,Where he had mutely sat two years before!Here I salute thee, and thy pardon ask,That now I use thee in my later task.Small loss it is that hence can come unto thee:I know my tongue but little grace can do thee.Thou needst not be ambitious to be first:Believe me, I have thither packed the worst—And, if it happen, as I did forecast,The daintiest dishes shall be served up last.I pray thee, then, deny me not thy aidFor this same small neglect that I have made,But haste thee straight to do me once a pleasure,And from thy wardrobe bring thy chiefest treasure,Not those new-fangled toys and trimming slightWhich takes our late fantastics with delight,But cull those richest robes and gay'st attireWhich deepest spirits and choicest wits desire.I have some naked thoughts that rove aboutAnd loudly knock to have their passage out,And, weary of their place, do only stayTill thou has decked them in thy best array,That so they may without suspect or fearsFly swiftly to this fair assembly's ears.Yet I had rather, if I were to choose,Thy service in some graver subject use,Such as may make thee search thy coffers roundBefore thou clothe my fancy in fit sound—Such where the deep transported mind may soarAbove the wheeling poles, and at Heav'n's doorLook in, and see each blissful deityHow he before the thunderous throne doth lie,Listening to what unshorn Apollo singsTo the touch of golden wires, while Hebe bringsImmortal nectar to her kingly sire.Then passing through the spheres of watchful fire,And misty regions of wide air next under,And hills of snow and lofts of piled thunder,May tell at length how green-eyed Neptune raves,In Heav'n's defiance mustering all his waves.Then sing of secret things that came to passWhen beldam Nature in her cradle was.And last, of kings and queens and heroes old,Such as the wise Demodocus once told,In solemn songs at king Alcinous' feast,While sad Ulysses' soul and all the restAre held with his melodious harmonyIn willing chains and sweet captivity.But fie, my wand'ring muse! How thou dost stray!Expectance calls thee now another way:Thou know'st it must be now thy only bentTo keep in compass of thy predicament.Then quick, about thy purposed business come,That to the next I may resign my room.Then Ens is represented as father of the [ten Aristotelian predicaments, his ten sons, whereof the eldest stood for substance, with his canons, which Ens, thus speaking, explains:Good luck befriend thee, son, for at thy birthThe fairy ladies danced upon the hearth.Thy drowsy nurse hath sworn she did them spyCome tripping to the room where thou didst lie,And sweetly singing round about thy bedStrew all their blessings on thy sleeping head.She heard them give thee this: that thou should'st stillFrom eyes of mortals walk invisible.Yet there is something that doth force my fear,For once it was my dismal hap to hearA sibyl old, bow-bent with crooked age,That far events full wisely could presage,And in time's long and dark prospective glassForesaw what future days should bring to pass:"Your son," said she, "(nor can you it prevent)Shall be subject to many an accident.O'er all his brethren he shall reign as king,Yet every one shall make him underling,And those that cannot live from him asunderUngratefully shall strive to keep him under.In worth and excellence he shall out-go them,Yet being above them, he shall be below them.From others he shall stand in need of nothing,Yet on his brothers shall depend for clothing.To find a foe it shall not be his hap,And peace shall lull him in her flow'ry lap.Yet shall he live in strife, and at his doorDevouring war shall never cease to roar.Yea, it shall be his natural propertyTo harbor those that are at enmity."What power, what force, what mighty spell, if notYour learned hands, can loose this Gordian knot?The next, Quantity and Quality, spoke in prose. Then Relation was called by his name:Rivers arise, whether thou be the sonOf utmost Tweed, or Ouse, or gulfy Dun,Or Trent, who like some earth-born giant spreadsHis thirty arms along the indented meads,Or sullen Mole, that runneth underneath,Or Severn swift, guilty of maiden's death,Or rocky Avon, or of sedgy Lea,Or coaly Tyne, or ancient hallowed Dee,Or Humber loud, that keeps the Scythian's name,Or Medway smooth, or royal-towered Thame.

From Our Editors

The only fully annotated edition of Milton’s poetry on the market today, this book is a must for teachers, students and lovers of English poetry. The Annotated Milton: Complete English Poems is a comprehensive work including: Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes. You’ll treasure this definitive collection.