The Sonnets of John Milton


Milton's 1673 Poems, formally titled Poems etc. on several occasions by Mr John Milton, both English and Latin, composed at several times, etc. is a volume of poetry by John Milton; it also includes a tract on education. The facsimile of the title page shows that the book was published by Thomas Dring of London.

The 1673 book includes all the poems in Milton's 1645 Poems, though not the prefatory material. In addition it includes a few poems written before 1645 but not published in the earlier book, and a number of poems written after 1645. The tract on education is the same as in the 1645 book (Revard, 2009,[1] p. 284ff).

According to the list published by Dartmouth College, poems included in the 1673 book but not in the 1645 book are:

  • On the Death of a Fair Infant Dying of a Cough
  • Sonnets
  • The Fifth Ode of Horace. Book 1
  • At a Vacation Exercise
  • On the New Forcers of Conscience
  • Psalm Translations
  • Apologus de Rustico & Hero
  • In Effigiei Ejus Sculptorem
  • Ad Joannem Roüsium

The sonnets included are usually referred to as numbers 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 23, according to the numbering Milton gave them in his autograph notebook referred to as the "Trinity Manuscript" (see Revard, 2009, p. 543), from its location in the Wren Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. In the printed edition, however, they are numbered sequentially. Thus, for example, the famous sonnet that begins When I Consider How My Light is Spent, usually (though inauthentically) referred to as On his blindness, is numbered 19 by Milton but 16 in the printed edition (see Revard, 2009, p. 569).

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