Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Wednesdays with Words :: Milton

Linking up with Cindy at Ordo Amoris for Wednesdays with Words. 

I am currently reading Paradise Lost with my brother. He and I take turns choosing a book to read and then discuss. So far we've been through quite a few. This time was his turn to choose and he chose Milton. I have to say I really love it. My brother has already finished, but I'm still only on Book III. Of course as a homeschooling mom of four I have every reason to be slow in my reading, but my busy-ness is most definitely not what is slowing me down this time. I am the type of person who can read entire books in a day, even with kids and house to manage. I usually devour books.

This book is different. This is probably one of the first books that I've ever read and have felt a need to read slowly. I want to savor every bit of it. I read Book I twice before I even began Book II. I keep finding myself going back to re-read underlined passages and be still with the words floating about in my head. This is an entirely new experience for me, and I have to say that I love it. Here are some of my favorite excerpts so far:

If thou beest he [Satan]; but O how fallen! how changed
From him, who in the happy realms of light
Clothed with transcendent brightness did outshine
Myriads though bright

Satan speaking:
To do aught good never will be our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight,
As being the contrary to his high will 
Whom we resist. If then his providence
Our of our evil seek to bring forth good,
Our labour must ever be to pervert that end,
And out of good still to find means of evil;

narrator speaking of Satan:
Thrice he essayed, and thrice in spite of scorn,
Tears such as angels weep burst forth

Left him at large to his own dark designs,
That with reiterated crimes he might 
Heap on himself damnation, while he sought 
Evil to others, and enraged might see
How all his malice served but to bring forth 
Infinite goodness, grace and mercy shown
On man by him seduced, but on himself
Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance poured. 

The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. 

Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition though in hell:
Better to reign in hell, than to serve in heaven. 

...for whence,
But from the author of all ill could spring
So deep a malice, to confound the race 
Of mankind in one root, and earth with hell
To mingle and involve, done all to spite
The great creator? But their spite still serves 
His glory to augment. 


  1. I tried to comment earlier but it messed up. I also found myself surprised by how much I enjoyed Paradise Lost when I read it for the first time a few years ago. I find myself wanting to reread things as I read the quotes on the WWW posts.

  2. I have never read Paradise Lost, but there are some powerful words in your quote and I am intrigued! I love that you read books with your brother.


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