Arts: Prized Potboiler

When, in 1634, Musician Henry Lawes asked his friend, Pamphleteer and Poet John Milton, to run off some verses for a masque (a quasi dramatization in verse of some allegory) which John Earl of Bridgewater wished to grace some festivities, Milton complied with a "Masque presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634," long since known as Comus. This masque so casually written to order, printed in 1637 without even the author's name, is one of the loveliest poems written in English and perhaps the best of Milton's minor works. Valued little...

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