"The Hungry Sheep Look Up, And Are Not Fed"

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Context: John Milton has Camus, or the River Cam, symbolizing Cambridge University, regretting the death of Lycidas–Edward King–who was his dearest child. Then enters St. Peter, with the gold and the iron keys, and mourns for the loss of Lycidas, who had been preparing to become a clergyman. St. Peter believes that he would have been a good shepherd, not like the profit-seeking worldlings who crowd into holy orders solely so that they can prey upon the Church for their own advantage; either they do not have enough interest in their flocks to instruct them or they do not know how to minister to them. The result of their neglect of duty is that the people, hungry for spiritual instruction, go to perdition for the lack of their spiritual food Milton writes:

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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:Besides what the grim wolf with privy pawDaily devours apace, and nothing said;But that two-handed engine at the doorStands ready to smite once, and smite no more.

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