[Milton-L] Longfellow on Milton

John Hale john.hale at otago.ac.nz
Tue Feb 10 02:50:24 EST 2015

The ninth wave fits Spenser better.
John Hale

From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] on behalf of Bob Blair [bblair48 at yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, 10 February 2015 7:20 p.m.
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
Subject: [Milton-L] Longfellow on Milton

I'm probably the last person on this list to discover Longfellow's sonnet on Milton.  The theme of the ninth wave is so powerful, though, that I'm not ashamed to republlsh it:

I pace the sounding sea-beach and behold
      How the voluminous billows roll and run,
      Upheaving and subsiding, while the sun
      Shines through their sheeted emerald far unrolled,
And the ninth wave, slow gathering fold by fold
      All its loose-flowing garments into one,
      Plunges upon the shore, and floods the dun
      Pale reach of sands, and changes them to gold.
So in majestic cadence rise and fall
      The mighty undulations of thy song,
      O sightless bard, England's Mæonides!
And ever and anon, high over all
      Uplifted, a ninth wave superb and strong,
      Floods all the soul with its melodious seas.

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