The life of John Milton: narrated in connexion with the political, ecclesiastical, and literary history of his time, Volume 1 (Google eBook)

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Macmillan and co., 1859 - Literary Criticism
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Masson is the indispensable biographer of John Milton. He would receive more attention if not for his completeness -- the life of Milton takes up six volumes. He provides yet another example of the magisterial scholarship of the Victorians. The tendency to indulge in flights of Romantic grandeur, which attracts the derision in the twenty-first century, makes Masson more engaging than other Milton biographers who combine lesser erudition with weaker emotions.  

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Page 491 - He that has light within his own clear breast, May sit i' the centre and enjoy bright day : But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts, Benighted walks under the mid-day sun ; Himself is his own dungeon.
Page 27 - What things have we seen Done at the ' Mermaid ? ' Heard words that have been So nimble, and so full of subtle flame, As if that every one from whence they came Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest, And had resolved to live a fool the rest Of his dull life.
Page 453 - To hear the lark begin his flight And singing startle the dull night From his watch-tower in the skies, Till the dappled dawn doth rise ; Then to come, in spite of sorrow, And at my window bid good-morrow Through the sweetbriar, or the vine, Or the twisted eglantine...
Page 246 - Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow, It shall be still in strictest measure even To that same lot, however mean or high, Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Heaven ; All is, if I have grace to use it so, As ever in my great Task-Master's eye.
Page 338 - tis the soul of peace ; Of all the virtues 'tis nearest kin to heaven ; It makes men look like gods. The best of men That e'er wore earth about him was a sufferer, A soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit, The first true gentleman that ever breath'd.
Page 457 - Or the unseen genius of the wood. But let my due feet never fail To walk the Studious cloister's pale, And love the high embowed roof, With antique pillars massy proof, And storied windows richly dight, Casting a dim, religious light.
Page 290 - Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness : fear before him, all the earth.
Page 454 - Where the great Sun begins his state Robed in flames and amber light, The clouds in thousand liveries dight; While the ploughman, near at hand, Whistles o'er the furrowed land, And the milkmaid singeth blithe, And the mower whets his scythe, And every shepherd tells his tale Under the hawthorn in the dale.
Page 166 - With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing; And waving wide her myrtle wand, She strikes a universal peace through sea and land.
Page 518 - Bitter constraint and sad occasion dear Compels me to disturb your season due : For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime, Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer. Who would not sing for Lycidas ? He knew Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme. He must not float upon his watery bier Unwept, and welter to the parching wind Without the meed of some melodious tear.

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