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Selected quotes by John Milton on life, war, hell, heaven and other things.

100 Selected Quotes By John Milton, The Author Of Paradise Lost

Quick Facts

Famous As: Poet, Polemicist, and Civil Servant for the Commonwealth of England.

Born On: December 9, 1608

Died On: November 8, 1674

Born In: Cheapside, City of London, United Kingdom

Died At Age: 65

John Milton was a poet, civil servant and a highly regarded intellectual from England, who lived in the 17th century and is credited for penning one of the most famous epics in English literature. Other than English, Milton was well versed in Latin and other European languages. He is without doubt one of the greatest English poets and his work reflected a deep sense of commitment to the causes of freedom of speech as well as self-expression, at a time when such things were not at the top of the mind of most intellectuals. Other than being a most influential poet, Milton was also a civil servant who worked under the ‘Commonwealth of England’. Milton’s most famous work, which is still studied at universities and schools all over the world, is the epic ‘Paradise Lost’ written in 1667 and will surely remain immortal in the annals of literature. Milton’s other famous work is the book ‘Areopagitica’ written in 1644 that deal with subjects like self-expression and freedom of speech. Needless to say, he was ahead of his time in this regard. His life and work also produced a veritable feast of quotes and here are some of the most famous ones that will certainly go down in history as some of his best.

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The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven..

John Milton

What hath night to do with sleep?

John Milton

Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven.

John Milton

Solitude sometimes is best society.

John Milton

Freely we serve Because we freely love, as in our will To love or not; in this we stand or fall.

John Milton

Awake, arise or be for ever fall’n.

John Milton

Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.

John Milton

I will not deny but that the best apology against false accusers is silence and sufferance, and honest deeds set against dishonest words.

John Milton

Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss

John Milton

All is not lost, the unconquerable will, and study of revenge, immortal hate, and the courage never to submit or yield.

John Milton

Farewell Hope, and with Hope farewell Fear

John Milton

Innocence, Once Lost, Can Never Be Regained. Darkness, Once Gazed Upon, Can Never Be Lost.

John Milton

Never can true reconcilement grow where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep...

John Milton

A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.

John Milton

I sung of Chaos and Eternal Night, Taught by the heav'nly Muse to venture down The dark descent, and up to reascend...

John Milton

Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.

John Milton

Thou canst not touch the freedom of my mind.

John Milton

Yet he who reigns within himself, and rules Passions, desires, and fears, is more a king.

John Milton

And so seplchred in such pomp dost lie, That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.

John Milton

How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth, Stol'n on his wing my three-and-twentieth year!

John Milton

This horror will grow mild, this darkness light.

John Milton

For so I created them free and free they must remain.

John Milton

Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie.

John Milton

What is dark within me, illumine.

John Milton

Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell.

John Milton

O sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams That bring to my remembrance from what state I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere.

John Milton

A mind not to be changed by place or time. The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heav'n.

John Milton

Where the bright seraphim in burning row Their loud uplifted angel trumpets blow.

John Milton

Our state cannot be severed, we are one, One flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself.

John Milton

From his lips/Not words alone pleased her.

John Milton

Knowledge forbidden? Suspicious, reasonless. Why should their Lord Envy them that? Can it be a sin to know? Can it be death?

John Milton

Who overcomes By force, hath overcome but half his foe.

John Milton

Luck is the residue of design.

John Milton

Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay To mould me man? Did I solicit thee From darkness to promote me?

John Milton

The mind is a universe and can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.

John Milton

So dear I love him, that with him all deaths I could endure, without him live no life.

John Milton

Ah, why should all mankind For one man's fault, be condemned, If guiltless?

John Milton

They also serve who only stand and wait.

John Milton

Be strong, live happy and love, but first of all Him whom to love is to obey, and keep His great command!

John Milton

What though the field be lost? All is not Lost; the unconquerable will, And study of revenge, immortal hate, And the courage never to submit or yeild.

John Milton

Our cure, to be no more; sad cure!

John Milton

What in me is dark Illumine, what is low raise and support, That to the height of this great argument I may assert eternal Providence, And justify the ways of God to men. 1 Paradise Lost. Book i. Line 22.

John Milton

They who have put out the people's eyes reproach them of their blindness.

John Milton

Farewell happy fields, Where joy forever dwells: Hail, horrors, hail.

John Milton

The mind is its own place, and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven. / What matter where, if I be still the same...

John Milton

Our torments also may in length of time Become our Elements.

John Milton

Thou art my father, thou my author, thou my being gav'st me; whom should I obey but thee, whom follow?

John Milton

Still paying, still to owe. Eternal woe!

John Milton

Gratitude bestows reverence.....changing forever how we experience life and the world.

John Milton

Silence was pleased.

John Milton

To be weak is miserable, Doing or suffering.

John Milton

So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear,Farewell remorse: all good to me is lost;Evil,be thou my good.

John Milton

What is strength without a double share of wisdom?

John Milton

And, when night Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.

John Milton

The stars, that nature hung in heaven, and filled their lamps with everlasting oil, give due light to the misled and lonely traveler".

John Milton

So shall the world go on, To good malignant, to bad men benign, Under her own weight groaning.

John Milton

Abash'd the Devil stood, And felt how awful goodness is,.....

John Milton

Neither man nor angel can discern hypocrisy, the only evil that walks invisible except to God alone.

John Milton

Then wilt thou not be loath To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess A Paradise within thee, happier far.

John Milton

So hand in hand they passed, the loveliest pair that ever since in love's embraces met -- Adam, the goodliest man of men since born his sons; the fairest of her daughters Eve.

John Milton

Wild above rule or art, enormous bliss.

John Milton

One sip of this will bathe the drooping spirits in delight, beyond the bliss of dreams.

John Milton

But he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself

John Milton

Part of my soul I seek thee, and claim thee my other half

John Milton

The childhood shows the man, As morning shows the day.

John Milton

He left it in thy power, ordaind thy will By nature free, not over-rul'd by Fate Inextricable, or strict necessity;

John Milton

But wherefore thou alone? Wherefore with thee Came not all hell broke loose?

John Milton

Yet from those flames No light, but rather darkness visible.

John Milton

What am I pondering, you ask? So help me God, immortality.

John Milton

Only supreme in misery!

John Milton

For Man to tell how human life began is hard; for who himself beginning knew?

John Milton

A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit"―

John Milton

The world was all before them, where to choose Their place of rest, and Providence their guide: They hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow, Through Eden took their solitary way.

John Milton

And looks commercing with the skies, Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes.

John Milton

How oft, in nations gone corrupt, And by their own devices brought down to servitude, That man chooses bondage before liberty. Bondage with ease before strenuous liberty.

John Milton

Many a man lives a burden to the Earth, but a good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, imbalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.

John Milton

Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter?

John Milton

In loving thou dost well, in passion not, Wherein true love consists not: Love refines The thoughts, and heart enlarges; hath his seat In reason, and is judicious

John Milton

They changed their minds, Flew off, and into strange vagaries fell.

John Milton

See with what heat these Dogs of Hell advance To waste and havoc yonder World.

John Milton

Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more.

John Milton

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.

John Milton

WE know no time when we were not as now..

John Milton

Confounded, though immortal. But his doom, reserved him to more wrath; for now the thought both of lost happiness and lasting pain torments him.

John Milton

That day I oft remember, when from sleep I first awaked, and found myself reposed, Under a shade, on flowers, much wondering where And what I was, whence thither brought, and how.

John Milton

Even the demons are encouraged when their chief is "not lost in loss itself.

John Milton

Immediate are the acts of God, more swift than time or motion.

John Milton

The wife, where danger or dishonor lurks, safest and seemliest by her husband stays, who guards her, or with her the worst endures.

John Milton

And on their naked limbs the flowry roof/Show'r'd Rose, which the Morn repair'd.

John Milton

Nto this wilde Abyss the warie fiend Stood on the brink of Hell and look'd a while, Pondering his Voyage; for no narrow frith He had to cross.

John Milton

No man [...] can be so stupid to deny that all men naturally were born free, being the image and resemblance of God himself.

John Milton

But what more oft in Nations grown corrupt, And by thir vices brought to servitude, Than to love Bondage more than Liberty, Bondage with ease than strenuous liberty;

John Milton

He that has light within his own clear breast May sit in the center, and enjoy bright day: But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts Benighted walks under the mid-day sun; Himself his own dungeon.

John Milton

The happy place Imparts to thee no happiness, no joy -- Rather inflames thy torment, representing Lost bliss, to thee no more communicable; So never more in Hell than when in Heaven.

John Milton

A grateful mind by owing owes not, but still pays, at once indebted and discharged; what burden then?

John Milton

While yet we live, scarce one short hour perhaps, Between us two let there be peace, both joining, As joined in injuries, and enmity Against a foe by doom express assigned us, That cruel serpent.

John Milton

From morn to noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve, a summer's day; and with the setting sun dropped from the zenith like a falling star.

John Milton

And what is faith, love, virtue unassay'd alone, without exterior help sustained?

John Milton

Thus it shall befall Him, who to worth in women over-trusting, Lets her will rule: restraint she will not brook; And left to herself, if evil thence ensue She first his weak indulgence will accuse.

John Milton