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The poems of John Milton (1608-74) have inspired readers for generations and the selection in this new edition spans his entire career, from his earliest works to the magnificent epics of his later life. The devotional 'On the Morning of Christ's Nativity', his first great poem, anticipates the probing religious questions of Paradise Lost. Works such as 'L'Allegro' and 'Il Penseroso' consider divisions of loyalties, while 'A Masque' ('Comus') explores Milton's great theme of temptation, and the pastoral elegy 'Lycidas' contemplates mortality and the meaning of human life. This volume includes considerable selections from Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained - Milton's late epics on the Fall of Man and Christ's temptation in the wilderness - and the complete Samson Agonistes, in which the great hero undergoes a profound crisis of faith in his final hours.
John Milton was born in London on December 9, 1608, and studied at the University of Cambridge. He originally planned to become a clergyman, but abandoned those ambitions to become a poet. Political in his writings, he served a government post during the time of the Commonwealth. By 1660, he was completely blind but continued to write, finishing Paradise Lost in 1667, and Paradise Regained in 1671. He died in 1674.