The English poet John Milton is almost certainly best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost. And that alone would probably have earned him the reputation as one of the greatest English authors of all time. But, as one of the leading Puritan writers during the English civil war, Milton was also famous for his political writings and his many other poems. Despite having a number of somewhat less orthodox theological positions, Milton’s Paradise Lost has had a tremendous impact on the Christian imagination in the English-speaking world.
Milton died on November 8, 1674. So this week’s prayer is in his memory. It comes from Book V of Paradise Lost and is part of Adam and Eve’s prayer of praise to God when he created them.
These are thy glorious works, Parent of Good,
Almighty, thine this universal frame,
Thus wondrous frame: thyself how wondrous then!
Unspeakable, who sit’st above the Heav’ns
To us invisible, or dimly seen
In these thy lowest works: yet these declare
They goodness beyond thought, and pow’r divine.
Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light,
Angels; for ye behold him, and with songs
And choral symphonies, day without night,
Circle his throne rejoicing; ye in Heaven
On Earth join all ye Creatures to extol
Him first, him last, him midst, and without end.