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English poet, scholar, writer and patriot
(1608 - 1674)
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His words, . . . like so many nimble and airy servitors, trip about him at command.
      - Apology for Smectymnuus [Words]

And sing to those that hold the vital shears;
  And turn the adamantine spindle round,
    On which the fate of gods and men is wound.
      - Arcades [Fate]

O'er the smooth enamell'd green
  Where no print of step hath been.
      - Arcades [Grass]

Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie.
      - Arcades (l. 68) [Music]

A good book is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit imbalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.
      - Areopagitica [Books]

A man may be a heretic in the truth; and if he believe things only because his pastor says so, or the assembly so determines, without knowing other reason, though his belief be true, yet the very truth he holds becomes his heresy.
      - Areopagitica [Belief]

As good almost kill a man as kill a good book; who kills a man a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were, in the eye.
      - Areopagitica [Books]

Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a progeny of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them.
      - Areopagitica [Books]

Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible invincible locks. Methinks I see her as an eagle mewing her mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full midday beam.
      - Areopagitica [Nation]

Who ever knew truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter?
      - Areopagitica [Truth]

Who shall silence all the airs and madrigals that whisper softness in chambers?
      - Areopagitica [Music]

God sure esteems the growth and completing of one virtuous person, more that the restraint of ten vicious.
      - Areopagitica--A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing

Good luck befriend thee, Son; for at thy birth
  The fairy ladies danced upon the hearth.
      - At a Vacation Exercise in the College

Beldam Nature.
      - At a Vacation Exercise in the College
         (1, 48) [Nature]

The virtuous mind that ever walks attended
  By a strong siding champion, Conscience.
      - Comus [Conscience]

Rich and various gems inlay
  The unadorned bosom of the deep.
      - Comus (22) [Ocean]

Such sober certainly of waking bliss.
      - Comus (263) [Love]

A stream of rich distill'd perfumes.
      - Comus (556) [Perfume]

Bacchus, that first from out the purple grape,
  Crushed the sweet poison of misused wine.
      - Comus (II, 46) [Wine and Spirits]

But now my task is smoothly done,
  I can fly, or I can run.
      - Comus (l. 1,012) [Labor]

Or, if Virtue feeble were,
  Heaven itself would stoop to her.
      - Comus (l. 1,022) [Virtue]

That golden key
  That opes the palace of eternity.
      - Comus (l. 13) [Death : Eternity : Repentance]

Come, knit hands, and beat the ground
  In a light fantastic round.
      - Comus (l. 143) [Dancing]

O thievish Night,
  Why shouldst thou, but for some felonious end,
    In thy dark lantern thus close up the stars,
      That nature hung in heaven, and filled their lamps
        With everlasting oil, to give due light
          To the misled and lonely traveller?
      - Comus (l. 195) [Night]

Of calling shapes, and beck'ning shadows dire,
  And airy tongues that syllable men's names.
      - Comus (l. 207) [Apparitions]

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