October Poem--Milton--Sonnet XXIII


A finer, more eloquent lamentation and heartfelt expression of grief is hard to imagine. This belongs with Anne Bradstreet's "To My Dear and Loving Husband" as one of the great love poems (particularly considering it comes from Milton's hand).

Sonnet XXIII: Methought I Saw my Late Espoused Saint
John Milton

            Methought I saw my late espoused saint
                 Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave,
                 Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave,
                 Rescu'd from death by force, though pale and faint.
            Mine, as whom wash'd from spot of child-bed taint
                 Purification in the old Law did save,
                 And such as yet once more I trust to have
                 Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,
            Came vested all in white, pure as her mind;
                 Her face was veil'd, yet to my fancied sight
                 Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd
            So clear as in no face with more delight.
                 But Oh! as to embrace me she inclin'd,
                 I wak'd, she fled, and day brought back my night.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 22, 2003 8:00 AM.

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