Wednesday, 8 December 2010

On his blindness - sonnet xix

Today is John Milton's birthday. He was born in Bread Street, Cheapside. For many years Milton's father, a userer, supported his son's studies at home.

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide;
'Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?'
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, 'God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.'

John Milton
9th Dec 1608 - 8th Nov 1674


  1. Thankyou for posting this great Milton sonnet, Gwilym. Such a famous last line...but the whole thing resonates with understanding. I suppose one of the most school-studied poem in history, but still relevant.

  2. Thanks Gerry, like all real poetry it remains relevant, it's a sonnet for our times.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.