Saturday, June 02, 2007
(reading) from John Milton's Paradise Lost
--actually, putting on, playing, the part of what Milton's first readers must have done, skimming for the very most scandalous, juicy parts : ) *
. . .
To satisfy the sharp desire I had
Of tasting those fair apples, I resolved
Not to defer: hunger and thirst at once,
Powerful persuaders, quickened at the scent
Of that alluring fruit, urged me so keen.
About the mossy trunk I wound me soon,
For high from ground, the branches would require
Thy utmost reach, or Adam's: round the tree
All other beasts that saw, with like desire
Longing and envying stood, but could not reach.
Amid the tree now got, where plenty hung
Tempting so nigh, to pluck and eat my fill
I spared not; for such pleasure till that hour
At feed or fountain never had I found.
Sated at length ere long I might perceive
Strange alteration in me, to degree
Of reason in my inward powers, and speech
Wanted not long, though to this shape retained.
(Book 9, 584-601)
* in Norton Anth of Poetry, ed. Margaret Ferguson et al (New York, 2005) 438.