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LINES 1-39. THE INVOCATION FOR THE SECOND HALF OF PARADISE LOST
Book VII marks the beginning of the second half of the poem, so another invocation to Urania is in order. "Half yet remains unsung," Milton says, but this half won't take him to such giddy heights in the cosmos because the action will take place mostly on earth.
As you saw in the previous invocations, they give Milton a chance to talk about himself. Here he portrays himself as alone, blind ("In darkness"), "fallen on evil days," and "with dangers compassed round." For Milton, the restoration of the monarchy under King Charles II meant forced retirement from public life and the danger of personal reprisal from the victorious Royalists. A number of his friends suffered cruel deaths. He thought of the king's party as "Bacchus and his revellers," who tore apart the poet Orpheus in a drunken orgy. He hopes to find a few readers who can appreciate what he has to say: "fit audience find, though few."