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Manuscripts

Authors

Barbara Sims

Abstract

It is a tribute to Milton's genius to study his delicate line of demarcation between the treatment of death in "Marchioness of Winchester" and "Death of a Fair Infant." In the latter poem, Mi.lton imbues his work with a tone of comfort and hope-a tone which we do not find in the former poem. Of course, we must keep in mind the fact that in "Death of a Fair Infant," Milton was emotionally connected with the deceased, and would naturally inject his lines with a note of personal grief and sympathy for the bereaved. Upon contemplating Milton's lines, the reader is aware that his treatment of death is in perfect harmony with the subject. There are beautiful allusions to light, somewhat ethereal figures, and nowhere do we find ponderous passages of dark, black mourning which would add a grimness totally out of keeping with the qualities of fancy in this poem. He tells the lamenting mother that her loss is a gift of God, and closes his poem on a rather enigmatic note of promise.

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