Monday, February 18, 2019

Reduced Text, Diminished Knight


Here are MacLeish's four pages on Milton, but cut to one page:
A Knight there was, [name of Milton,] rode on a mighty horse along a highway, rough and tortuous; his head held high, his eyes fixed on a distant mount from whose fair summit came a gleam of white, as ever and anon he saw it through the barren hills that lay about . . . . But as he rode and seemed to near the goal he sought, a cry came to his ears from out a narrow glen, and leaping from his saddle to the earth, he ran and . . . entered in the struggle (20). Two parties, at each other’s throats, unmindful of the higher law of patriotism, seemed content to let her[, the nation,] bear the suffering of their strife. On one hand stood a king, false, selfish and tyrannical; on the other, kneeled a group of men, courageous, yet fanatical, freedom loving, brave (21-22). When Milton, who had poured his soul into perhaps the sweetest of all English verse, . . . was made to feel the power of this mighty strife, he found himself forced to a choice . . . . Here, . . . we pause in admiration of his greatness (22). The years went by, . . . and now he would have turned his steps back to the road left years before. But . . . . his sight was taken (23). Then Cromwell died, . . .and Milton, sightless, friendless and alone, stood at the point his love of freedom called him from twenty years before. But in his heart, unchangeable and clear, still lay the vision that had brightened all his former life . . . . [I]n his heart he saw as clearly as before the gleam of white, pure marble in the sun, the terraced walls, and massive towers of the castle on the hill. And . . . . he wrote his epic . . . . The gate was won, the towers and the battlements (23).
Hmm . . . well, it is shorter, but also diminished, as is the knight, too.



At 10:15 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

Blimey! Archie is a nutter!

At 1:57 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Have another nutter butter peanut butter sandwich cookie.

Jeffery Hodges

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