Why study Milton? What should be our aim?
To learn about our origins and loss?
To understand the mystery of our Fall
Proved fortunate despite of Paradise
Now lost to us in our unhappy state?
What now if we no longer can believe
Such antique fables and such epic tales
But read them only for their poetry?
It is not Truth we look for in his lines,
Nor insight into deity’s designs,
Nor do we look so much as listen to
Sonorities that soar in syntax rare
With eloquence enjoyed by “fit though few,”
By auditors who study with most care.