Synopses & Reviews
Universally hailed as one of the greatest poets of the English language, John Milton bequeathed an unrivalled body of work to the modern world. While best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost, Milton's literary brilliance encompassed all manner of verse forms, including the ode, mask, short epic and classical drama. Milton, Complete Shorter Poems is the first critical edition to present his poems in their original form -- with all the intricacies of Milton's language intact. Original spelling and punctuation have been carefully maintained, and the poems' rhythms and cadences, often lost in modernized versions, are made accessible. Readers finally have the opportunity to experience the richness and vitality of Milton's works just as they were received by his contemporaries.
Included are Milton's complete collection of 1645 Poems, with the English poems reproduced in the order in which Milton arranged them in 1645, followed by his Latin poems with new English translations easily accessible on facing pages. Also featured are Milton's two great works that appeared together in 1671, Paradise Regained; and the poetic drama modeled on classical Greek tragedy, Samson Agonistes. The addition of invaluable, non-intrusive footnotes, marginal glosses, and insightful introductions by noted Milton scholar Stella Revard will serve to illuminate the wealth of Milton's literary allusions and greatly enhance the reader's appreciation of his genius. Together, this new volume is a crucial addition to Milton scholarship and a fitting tribute to mark the occasion of the four-hundredth anniversary of the great poet’s birth in 1608.
“This new edition gives us an accurate picture of how Milton’s publication of his shorter poems evolved across a lifetime. Its main strength, in my opinion, is that Revard will introduce readers who might otherwise not have considered Milton as a literary polyglot to the 1645 Poemata and other Latin and Italian poems in their proper contexts, which cannot but enrich such readers’ understanding of Milton’s work.” (Milton Quarterly
, 2011)“A splendid student edition. Remarkably fresh and uncluttered, it offers strong historical context as well as specific linguistic guidance for the modern reader. Priority goes to the poetry and the decision to return to original spelling proves no hindrance but rather seems to deepen the reader's engagement with the texts. An outstanding edition which is easy to handle and to use.”
"Original spelling and punctuation are retained, and in all other ways the volume prioritizes accessibility and clarity, with chronology, introductions to each section and ample but not swamping footnotes to each poem. The introductory essays do not assume scholarly knowledge, and they make every poem seem vibrant, and vital to Milton's development as a writer."(TLS, April 2010)Margaret Kean, St. Hilda’s College, University of Oxford
An important and innovative edition of Milton's shorter verse & the first volume to present the poems with the original spelling and pronunciations intact, offering readers the opportunity to experience the vitality of the poems as they were experienced by Milton's contemporaries:
- Includes Milton's original Latin poems, with a new English translation on facing pages for cross-comparison
- Serves as a companion to Lewalski's Paradise Lost and Loewenstein's prose selections of Milton
- Features both collected and uncollected poetry in English, Latin, and Greek, the latter two with translations
- Retains original spelling and punctuation of Milton's 1645 Poems and his 1671 Paradise Regained and Sampson Agonistes
- Offers readers comprehensive footnotes, marginal glosses, chronology, bibliography, and longer discussions in introductions to sections
About the Author
Stella Revard is Professor Emerita of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, with a Ph. D. in English Literature from Yale University. Her two previous books on Milton, The War in Heaven: Paradise Lost and the Tradition of Satan's Rebellion (1980) and Milton and the Tangles of Neaera's Hair: The Making of the 1645 Poems (1997), won Hanford awards from the Milton Society of America.
Table of Contents
Note on This Edition.
List of Illustrations.
Introduction to the 1645 Volume: Poems of Mr. John Milton.
English and Italian Poems.
The Stationer to the Reader.
On the morning of CHRISTS Nativity.
A Paraphrase on Psalm 114.
Upon the Circumcision.
At a solemn Musick.
An Epitaph on the Marchioness of Winchester.
On May morning.
On the University Carrier.
Another on the same.
I O Nightingale.
II Donna leggiadra.
III Qual in colle aspro.
IV Diodati, e te’l dirò.
V Per certo i bei vostr’occhi.
VI Giovane piano.
VII How soon hath Time.
VIII Captain or Colonel, or Knight in Arms.
IX Lady that in the prime of earliest youth.
X Daughter to that good Earl.
A Mask of the same Author. Title page.
To the Right Honourable, John Lord Vicount BRACLY.
The Copy of a Letter Writt’n By Sir HENRY WOOTTON.
A MASK Presented At LUDLOW-Castle, 1634.
Introduction to the Poemata, 1645.
The Poemata, 1645.
Translator’s Note: The Latin Poems.
Haec quae sequuntur de Authore testimonia.
Joannes Baptista Mansus ad Joannem Miltonium.
Ad Joannem Miltonem Epigramma Joannis Salsilli.
Ad Joannem Miltonum (Selvaggi).
Al Signor Gio. Miltoni (Antonio Francini).
JOANNI MILTONI LONDINIENSI (Carolus Datus).
ELEGIARUM Liber primus.
Elegia prima ad Carolum Diodatum.
Elegia secunda. In obitum Præconis Academici Cantabrigiensis.
Elegia tertia. In obitum Præsulis Wintoniensis.
Elegia quarta. Ad Thomam Junium.
Elegia quinta. In adventum veris.
Elegia sexta. Ad Carolum Diodatum.
Haec ego mente [Retraction].
In proditionem Bombardicam.
In inventorem Bombardæ.
Ad Leonoram Romæ cantentem.
In obitum Procancellarii medici.
In quintum Novembris.
In obitum Præsulis Eliensis.
Naturam non pati senium.
De Idea Platonica.
Philosophus ad regem.
Introduction to Poems, &C. UPON Several Occasions, 1673.
English Poems Added in 1673.
On the Death of a fair Infant dying of a Cough.
XI A Book was writ of late call’d Tetrachordon.
XII On the same.
XIII To Mr. H. Lawes, on his Aires.
XIV [On ye religious memory of Mrs. Catharine Thomason].
XV (18) On the late Massacher in Piemont.
XVI (19) When I consider how my light is spent.
XVII (20) Lawrence of virtuous Father.
XVIII (21) Cyriack, whose Grandsire.
XIX (23) Methought I saw.
The Fifth Ode of Horace. Lib. I.
Ad PYRRHAM. Ode V.
At a Vacation Exercise in the Colledge.
On the new forcers of Conscience under the Long PARLIAMENT.
Latin and Greek Poems added in 1673.
Poem added to Elegiarum Liber in 1673.
Apologus de Rustico & Hero.
Poems added to Sylvarum Liber in 1673.
In Effigiei Ejus Sculptorem.
Ad Joannem Rousium.
Introduction to the Uncollected Poems.
Sonnets Published in 1694.
To my Lord FAIRFAX.
To Oliver Cromwell.
To Sir HENRY VANE.
To Mr. CYRIAC SKINNER Upon his Blindness.
Unpublished Latin Poems.
Verses in Lesser Asclepiads (Ignauus Satrapam).
Introduction to Poems Published in 1671.
Introduction to Paradise Regained.
Introduction to Samson Agonistes.
Manuscript of Songs by Henry Lawes.
Trinity Manuscript: A Page from A Mask.
Textual Notes to English and Italian Poems.
Textual Notes to Poemata, 1645.
Textual Notes to English Poems Added in 1673.
Textual Notes to Sonnets Published in 1694.
Textual Notes to Paradise Regained.
Textual Notes to Samson Agonistes