Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
"Lycidas" is a major poem by John Milton, written in 1637 as a pastoral elegy to a college acquaintance of his, Edward King, who died that year when his ship capsized in the Irish Sea. The name "Lycidas" comes from Virgil, and is a common shepherd's name used in the pastoral mode. The poem is 193 lines in length, and is irregularly rhymed.
Milton wrote later that "the Author bewails a learned Friend, unfortunately drown'd ... on the Irish Seas, 1637. And by occasion foretels the ruine of our corrupted Clergy then in their height."
This particular work by Milton has inspired other writers. It is from a line in "Lycidas" that Thomas Wolfe took the name of his novel Look Homeward, Angel :
- Look homeward Angel now, and melt with ruth:
- And, O ye Dolphins, waft the hapless youth. (163-164)
The title The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner is also taken from this poem:
- The hungry Sheep look up and are not fed,
- But swoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw,
- Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread: (125-127)
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