C. S. Lewis' Post-Mortem on Milton's Prospectus (PL 11-12),

from A Preface to "Paradise Lost", London, 1946, 123-24, echoing Ovid, Met. 1, on the "raw confused mass" of primordial Chaos:

... [Milton] makes his two last books into a brief outline of sacred history from the Fall to the Last Day. Such an untransmuted lump of futurity, coming in a position so momentous for the structural effect of the whole work, is inartistic. And what makes it worse is that the actual writing in this passage is curiously bad... If we stick to what we know we must be content to say that Milton's talent temporarily failed him, just as Wordsworth's talent failed in later life.... Perhaps Milton was in ill health. Perhaps, being old, he yielded to a natural, though disastrous, impatience to get the work finished....