Milton, by the time he wrote "Paradise Lost, was blind and out of favor in the political atmosphere, having been Oliver Cromwell's secretary up to his death in 1658, the same year he began his epic poem. Throughout the work, Milton takes on the role of the blind bard who has interior insight. In Milton's second invocation in Book III, he references the great blind poets and prophets, then describes his surroundings as "ever-during (durable) dark Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men Cut off." This most likely alludes to the benighted state of the country, with the Stewart monarchy once again in power and Milton in exile from the court, having been released from prison with the intercession of friend and poet Andrew Marvell. So what may seem piety, through Milton's voice as the blind bard, was actually subtle railing against the ruling class at the time.