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Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud Turn forth her silver lining on the night ? I did
not err ; there does a sable cloud Turn forth her silver lining on the night, And
casts a gleam over this tufted grove : I cannot halloo to my brothers, but Such
... heavenly habitants Begin to cast a beam on the outward shape, The
unpolluted temple of the mind,14 And turns it by degrees to the soul's essence,15
Till all be made immortal ; but when lust, By unchaste looks, loose gestures, and
foul talk, ...
A nd turns it by degrees to the souVs essence. Milton here somewhat betrays his
materialist tendency. 16 P. 39. How charming is divine philosophy ! This alludes
more particularly to the philosophy of Plato, who went by the surname of divine.
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I much prefer John Kinsella's updated version 'A Dialogic Mask' which, rather engagingly, includes John Milton's original in a beautifully produced hardback. Comus is available from Arc Publications.