Yesterday I submitted you all to a lacking exercise in romantic poetry at my hands. That will not be the experience today–rather, I want to share with you all one of my favorite poems by a prolific author: Milton. So with that introduction to this master, I give you…
Oh His Deceased Wife, Milton.
Methought I saw my late espoused 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 restraint,
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, oh! as to embrace me she inclined,
I waked, she fled, and day brought back my night.
~ ~ ~
I won’t go through and analyze this whole piece, although I’d like to. I just want to point out my favorite moment of this poem–the last line. It’s a double entendre in the best and most heartbreaking way: John Milton was blind at the time he wrote this poem. I don’t believe he even knew the face of the woman who he had married and had died. And so he could see her in his dream… but as day broke his world of blindness returned. Oof. Beautiful and well written. Thanks for reading!