[Milton-L] humble ode
john.hale at stonebow.otago.ac.nz
Fri Dec 24 14:56:36 EST 2010
Christmas Day has begun out here, so I offer early greetings to all,
and the suggestion to dig out Milton's "humble ode". For "This is the
month, and this the happy morn" etc.
I have three questions about the poem:
(1) Is there a name for a poem which puns in its title by such a word
as Milton's "On" the Morning, where "on" is both occasion and subject?
(2) At line 24 of the intro do others (reading slowly as I do)
speculate that, having somehow "seen" the "star-led wizards hasting"
their way to Bethlehem (line 22-3), he is telling himself to go there
even more quickly and beat them to the finish-line (because at the
least he's got the twelve days of Christmas in which to do it)?
(3) Reading slowly, and not charging on into the ode proper, are we
given the conceited vision of parties converging on the manger, the
three plus camels and things from the east guided by a star and J. M.
all by himself but knowing more than they do, to make a beeline to
This is a frisky but reflective reading because that's Milton's own mood?
What doth the team think?
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