[Milton-L] Lycidas Query

jonnyangel junkopardner at comcast.net
Sat Nov 22 02:28:41 EST 2008


I forgot to add that I think Roy¹s footnotes in the Riverside Milton (my
current text that feels as heavy as the cross of Christ sometimes) mention
Michael¹s sword in Paradise Lost and Revelations and Psalms (don¹t have the
book so I don¹t know thw Chapter:vs)

I like th eMicheal idea from PL, as God speaks in PL:

Michael, this my behest have thou in charge,
Take to thee from among the Cherubim [ 100 ]
Thy choice of flaming Warriours, least the Fiend
Or in behalf of Man, or to invade
Vacant possession som new trouble raise:
Hast thee, and from the Paradise of God
Without remorse drive out the sinful Pair, [ 105 ]
>From hallowd ground th' unholie, and denounce
To them and to thir Progenie from thence
Perpetual banishment. Yet least they faint
At the sad Sentence rigorously urg'd,
For I behold them softn'd and with tears [ 110 ]
Bewailing thir excess, all terror hide.
If patiently thy bidding they obey,
Dismiss them not disconsolate; reveale
To Adam what shall come in future dayes,
As I shall thee enlighten, intermix [ 115 ]
My Cov'nant in the womans seed renewd;
So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peace:
And on the East side of the Garden place,
Where entrance up from Eden easiest climbes,
Cherubic watch, and of a Sword the flame [ 120 ]
Wide waving, all approach farr off to fright,
And guard all passage to the Tree of Life:
Least Paradise a receptacle prove
To Spirits foule, and all my Trees thir prey,
With whose stol'n Fruit Man once more to delude. [ 125 ]

Now that seems like a two-handed engine keeping the blind mouths out to
me...

J









On 11/22/08 1:47 AM, "jonnyangel" <junkopardner at comcast.net> wrote:

> No one knows, or probably ever will know is my answer.
> 
> I like to see the machine a big, heavy sword that takes two hands to wield it.
> _Two hands_ also shows an absolute conscious commitment, which makes smite
> once, and smite no more just send the shivers up your spine (I have problems
> with the church too).
> 
> I love parts of Lycidas (although I don¹t think it¹s a great ³whole²), but
> this line was phenomenal: ending what I thought to be the strongest part of
> the work (below).
> 
> J
> 
> He shook his  Miter'd  locks, and stern bespake,
> How well could I have spar'd for thee young swain,
> Anow of such as for their bellies sake,
> Creep and intrude, and climb into the fold? [ 115 ]
> Of other care they little reck'ning make,
> Then how to scramble at the shearers feast,
> And shove away the worthy bidden guest.
> Blind mouthes! that scarce themselves know how to hold
> A Sheep-hook, or have learn'd ought els the least [ 120 ]
> That to the faithfull Herdmans art belongs!
> What recks it them? What need they? They are sped;
> And when they list, their lean and flashy songs
> Grate on their scrannel Pipes of wretched straw,
> The hungry Sheep look up, and are not fed, [ 125 ]
> But swoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw,
> Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread:
> Besides what the grim Woolf with privy paw
> Daily devours apace, and nothing sed,
> But that two-handed engine at the door, [ 130 ]
> Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On 11/22/08 12:59 AM, "Horace Jeffery Hodges" <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com> wrote:
> 
>> figuring out what he meant by 'the two-handed engine at the door' in Lycidas?
>> Thirty years ago, a professor told me that no one had any idea."
>>  
>> I don't know the answer -- and only with the request learned that there was a
>> question -- but I promised to ask.
>>  
>> What is meant by "the two-handed engine at the door"?
> 
> 
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