Vision Past and Future
Sic pater Anchises, atque haec mirantibus addit:
virgil, Aen. 6.854–855
Methought I saw my late epousèd saint,
Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave,
Whom Jove's Great Son to her sad husband gave,
Rescued from death by force, though pale and faint,
Mine as whom washed from spot of child-bed taint,
Purification in the Old Law did save,
And such, as yet once more I trust to have
Full sight of her in heaven, without restraint,
Come vested all in white, pure as her mind:
Her face was veiled, yet to my fancied sight,
Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shined
So clear, as in no face with more delight.
But O as to embrace me she inclined
I waked, she fled, and day brought back my night.
JOHN MILTON, "Sonnet XXIII"
In the twenty-third sonnet of John Milton, past, present, and future are brought into a harmonic balance through Milton's vision of his late wife.