OK, wow–it’s clear from your thorough and tender discussion of “Lycidas” that Milton truly is one of your enthusiasms. What do you think is the main reason he speaks to you so intensely? From your post, I gather that aesthetics is the prime reason for your admiration–the beauty of Milton’s language has that power you described to arrest you in a state of wonderment.
You might be interested in this article in the U.K. “Spectator.” Boyd Tonkin reports a universal lament of Milton admirers that Milton is no longer much read. But he makes the argument that Milton’s work, especially his themes, his love of free speech, and the moral dilemmas of the characters, are very relevant today. Milton might not be down for the count! Boyd Tonkin, “Why Milton Still Matters,” online in The Spectator.