With whatever qualifications, it is certainly one of the great English lyrics, and its union of Renaissance sensuousness with grandeur of conception and sureness of expression foretell clearly enough at twenty the poet of 'Paradise
Lost.' The sonnet on his twenty-third birthday, further, is known to almost every reader of poetry as the best short expression in literature of the dedication of one's life and powers to God.
But I do not think you can hope to read Paradise
Lost with true pleasure yet a while.
The Prophet was wise without knowing it when he decided not to go down into the paradise
It was a hunter's paradise
; the buffaloes were in such abundance that they were enabled to kill as many as they pleased, and to jerk a sufficient supply of meat for several days' journeying.
"Nor I, Ned, if I do not catch a bird of paradise
It was thus the fountains were dancing to the moon in Arabia; it was thus the Nixies shook their white limbs on the haunted banks of the Rhine; it was thus the fairy women flashed their alabaster feet on the fairy hills of Connemara; it was thus the Houris were dancing for Mahomet on the palace floors of Paradise
It was (at least it might have been, always excepting for that wise resolution) like his dexterous impudence to call it a Paradise
. He only called it a Paradise
because he first saw her coming, and so made her out within her hearing to be an angel, Confusion to him!
Lost excited different and far deeper emotions.
I will not conceal from you that the document ends with certain legal phrases about the unpleasant things that may happen if the money is not paid; but meanwhile, ladies and gentlemen, let me assure you that I am comfortably off here for accommodation, wine and cigars, and bid you for the present a sportsman-like welcome to the luxuries of the Paradise
In a word, if a young angel just from paradise
, yet dressed in earthly fashion, had come and offered me her hand, it is by no means certain that I should have taken it.
"If I were inclined to joke I should say, How much this seems like Paradise
!" he remarked whimsically, looking at her with an inclined head.
'It is a lovely evening,' answered I; and I sighed to think how little I had felt its loveliness, and how little of a paradise
sweet Grassdale was to me - how still less to the voluntary exile from its scenes.