“You too have exceptional looks a god could not better yet your mind is crippled.”
- Odysseus, Homer’s Odyssey, 700BC
“How many Caesars will become low dogs!”
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions (1782)
“To teach thee that God attributes to place
No sanctity, if none be thither brought
By men who are frequent, or therein dwell.”
- John Milton, Paradise Lost (Bk. XII)
I think this alone is sufficient a statement to negate any ultri-right Christian notions of the importance of Israel, or Holy ground in general.
“For man to tell how human life began
Is hard; for who himself begining knew?”
- John Milton, Paradise Lost
Behold mee then, mee for him, life for life
I offer, on mee let thine anger fall;
Account mee man; I for his sake will leave
Thy bosom, and this glorie next to thee
Freely put off, and for him lastly dye [ 240 ]
Well pleas’d, on me let Death wreck all his rage;
Under his gloomie power I shall not long
Lie vanquisht; thou hast givn me to possess
Life in my self for ever, by thee I live,
Though now to Death I yield, and am his due [ 245 ]
All that of me can die, yet that debt paid,
Thou wilt not leave me in the loathsom grave
His prey, nor suffer my unspotted Soule
For ever with corruption there to dwell;
But I shall rise Victorious, and subdue [ 250 ]
My Vanquisher, spoild of his vanted spoile;
Death his deaths wound shall then receive, and stoop
Inglorious, of his mortal sting disarm’d.
I through the ample Air in Triumph high
Shall lead Hell Captive maugre Hell, and show [ 255 ]
The powers of darkness bound. Thou at the sight
Pleas’d, out of Heaven shalt look down and smile,
While by thee rais’d I ruin all my Foes,
Death last, and with his Carcass glut the Grave:
Then with the multitude of my redeemd [ 260 ]
Shall enter Heaven long absent, and returne,
Father, to see thy face, wherein no cloud
Of anger shall remain, but peace assur’d,
And reconcilement; wrauth shall be no more
Thenceforth, but in thy presence Joy entire.
The Messiah’s reply to Gods prediction of the fall of man
John Milton, Paradise Lost
He and his faithless Progenie: whose fault?
Whose but his own? ingrate, he had of me
All he could have; I made him just and right,
Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall.
- John Milton, Paradise Lost
The Fall of the Damned by Dirck Bouts the Elder
“The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of hell, or a hell of heaven.”
- John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book I (1667)
Archadia, John Milton (1633)
LOok Nymphs, and Shepherds look,
What sudden blaze of majesty
Is that which we from hence descry
Too divine to be mistook:
This this is she [ 5 ]
To whom our vows and wishes bend,
Heer our solemn search hath end.
Fame that her high worth to raise,
Seem’d erst so lavish and profuse,
We may justly now accuse [ 10 ]
Of detraction from her praise,
Less then half we find exprest,
Envy bid conceal the rest.
Mark what radiant state she spreds,
In circle round her shining throne, [ 15 ]
Shooting her beams like silver threds.
This this is she alone,
Sitting like a Goddes bright,
In the center of her light.
As they com forward, the Genius of the Wood appears, and turning toward them, speaks.
GEn. Stay gentle Swains, for though in this disguise,
I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes,
Of famous Arcady ye are, and sprung
Of that renowned flood, so often sung,
Divine Alpheus, who by secret sluse, [ 30 ]
Stole under Seas to meet his Arethuse;
And ye the breathing Roses of the Wood,
Fair silver-buskind Nymphs as great and good,
I know this quest of yours, and free intent
Was all in honour and devotion ment [ 35 ]
To the great Mistres of yon princely shrine,
Whom with low reverence I adore as mine,
And with all helpful service will comply
To further this nights glad solemnity;
And lead ye where ye may more neer behold [ 40 ]
What shallow-searching Fame hath left untold;
Which I full oft amidst these shades alone
Have sate to wonder at, and gaze upon:
For know by lot from Jove I am the powr
Of this fair Wood, and live in Oak’n bowr, [ 45 ]
To nurse the Saplings tall, and curl the grove
With Ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove.
And all my Plants I save from nightly ill,
Of noisom winds, and blasting vapours chill.
And from the Boughs brush off the evil dew, [ 50 ]
And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blew,
Or what the cross dire-looking Planet smites,
Or hurtfull Worm with canker’d venom bites.
When Eev’ning gray doth rise, I fetch my round
Over the mount, and all this hallow’d ground, [ 55 ]
And early ere the odorous breath of morn
Awakes the slumbring leaves, or tasseld horn
Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about,
Number my ranks, and visit every sprout
With puissant words, and murmurs made to bless, [ 60 ]
But els in deep of night when drowsines
Hath lockt up mortal sense, then listen I
To the celestial Sirens harmony,
That sit upon the nine enfolded Sphears
And sing to those that hold the vital shears [ 65 ]
And turn the Adamantine spindle round,
On which the fate of gods and men is wound.
Such sweet compulsion doth in musick ly,
To lull the daughters of Necessity,
And keep unsteddy Nature to her law, [ 70 ]
And the low world in measur’d motion draw
After the heavenly tune, which none can hear
Of human mould with grosse unpurged ear;
And yet such musick worthiest were to blaze
The peerles height of her immortal praise, [ 75 ]
Whose lustre leads us, and for her most fit,
If my inferior hand or voice could hit
Inimitable sounds, yet as we go,
What ere the skill of lesser gods can show,
I will assay, her worth to celebrate, [ 80 ]
And so attend ye toward her glittering state;
Where ye may all that are of noble stemm
Approach, and kiss her sacred vestures hemm.
O‘Re the smooth enameld green
Where no print of step hath been, [ 85 ]
Follow me as I sing,
And touch the warbled string.
Under the shady roof
Of branching Elm Star-proof,
Follow me, [ 90 ]
I will bring you where she sits,
Clad in splendor as befits
Such a rural Queen
Arcadia hath not seen. [ 95 ]
NYmphs and Shepherds dance no more
By sandy Ladons Lillied banks.
On old Lycæus or Cyllene hoar,
Trip no more in twilight ranks,
Through Erymanth your loss deplore, [ 100 ]
A better soyl shall give ye thanks.
From the stony Mænalus,
Bring your Flocks, and live with us,
Here ye shall have greater grace,
To serve the Lady of this place. [ 105 ]
Though Syrinx your Pans Mistres were,
Yet Syrinx well might wait on her.
Such a rural Queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.