Living during a tumultuous period that saw the English Civil War and the rise of Oliver Cromwell, Milton witnessed firsthand the political and religious conflicts that swept not just England but much of Europe during the 17th century. Not surprisingly, these became themes in much of his works, including the epic poems Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, which are considered not just his masterpieces but some of the greatest poems ever written.
Milton wrote poetry in all kinds of forms, including elegaic couplets, different rhyme patterns, and, of course, sonnets, a collection of which is contained here.
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About the Author
As a young student, John Milton (1608-1674) dreamed of bringing the poetic elocution of Homer and Virgil to the English language. Milton realized this dream with his graceful, sonorous Paradise Lost, now considered the most influential epic poem in English literature. In sublime poetry of extraordinary beauty, Paradise Lost has inspired generations of artists and their works, ranging from the Romantic poets to the books of J. R. R. Tolkien.
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1638-9. JET. 31. Donna leggiadra, il cui bel nome onora L' erbosa vai di Reno, e il nobil varco, Bene è colui d' ogni valore scarco, Qual tuo spirto gentil non innamora, Che dolcemente mostrasi di fuora De sui atti soavi giammai parco, E i don', che son d' amor saette ed arco, Laonde 1' alta tua virtù s' infiora. Quando tu vaga parli, o lieta canti, Che mover possa duro alpestre legno, Guardi ciascun a gli occhi ed a gli orecchi L' entrata, chi di te si trova indegno ; Grazia sola di su gli vaglia, inanti Che '1 disio amoroso al cuor s'invecchi. Ital1an S0nnets. It is most probable that the six Italian pieces were written during his Italian journey. To attempt verse in a foreign tongue requires courage; but it would be less venturous to do so during residence in the country, while ear and tongue were in daily exercise with accent and idiom. Milton left home in April 1638, and was back in England in August 1639; the greater part of this time had been spent by him in Italy. Keightley says of Milton's Italian poems, that they have the fault, common and almost inevitable to modern Latin poetry, viz., that of confounding the language and style of different periods; that though written in the middle of the seventeenth century, they present forms peculiar to Dante and the poets of the fourteenth century. Gabriele Rossetti, consulted by Keightley on the point of language, wrote ' lo per me mene uscirei con ' poche parole, dicendo che lo scrivere in lingua ' straniera e stato per Milton un audacia di cui il ' solo successo potrebbe giustificarlo; ma che ' sventuratamente non e cosl." Critical research has not succeeded in obtaining any clue to the name of the lady who iscelebrated in these pieces. Warton conjectured that she might be the celebrated singer, Leonora, whom Mi...