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Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

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Poetry Corner: O for that warning voice

With excuses to my Jesuit confessor, Fr. de Casuist, I would like to impose on my vow of restricting my posts to Friday in order to hear a quote from the devil.

Here is the Mount Niphates monologue in Milton’s PARADISE LOST. This is that speech which those in the camp of William Blake, who say that Milton unbeknownst was of the Devil’s party, have trouble to explain. (For those of you who are fans of THE INCREDIBLES, this is the first example of ‘monologing’, a practice many a lesser super-villain in after times was fain to copy.)

O for that warning voice, which he who saw

The Apocalypse heard cry in Heaven aloud,

Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,

Came furious down to be revenged on men,

Woe to the inhabitants on Earth! that now,

While time was, our first parents had been warned

The coming of their secret Foe, and scaped,

Haply so scaped, his mortal snare! For now

Satan, now first inflamed with rage, came down,

The tempter, ere the accuser, of mankind,

To wreak on innocent frail Man his loss

Of that first battle, and his flight to Hell.

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