Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sunday sonnet: John Milton

Here's a sonnet from the master, John Milton, written in 1658. It tells of a dream in which he saw his wife, who had died in childbirth, and his sadness upon wakening.

Methought I saw my late espous├Ęd saint
- Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave,
- Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave,
- Rescued from death by force though pale and faint.
Mine, as whom washed from spot of childbed taint,
- Purification in the old law did save,
- And such, as yet once more I trust to have
- Full sight of her in heaven without resraint,
Came vested all in white, pure as her mind.
- Her face was veiled, yet to my fancied sight
- Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shined
So clear, as in no face with more delight.
- But O, as to embrace me she inclined,
- I waked, she fled, and day brought back my night.

Rhyme scheme: abba abba cdcdcd

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