On His Blindness: Milton


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
Lodg’d 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 1608-1674

Sonnet ‘On His Blindness’ c.1655
The illustration is copyright: RTimages via Shutterstock. The observant among you may object that the man in question is not blind, to which I would suggest that this poem applies beyond the blind to all those who are handicapped by circumstance from doing the work they feel called to do.

About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
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2 Responses to On His Blindness: Milton

  1. W O N D E R F U L gr8 contemplation Always I have loved Milton….even back in grade school when we had to memorize with the punctuation…….especially the last line….
    They also serve who only stand and wait.”

    To serve is an honour, a priviledge a blessing……many women in holy books have taught me that….now as a senior I work off some karma by waiting.

    EXCELLENT thought for my weekend Thank you

  2. Reblogged this on Greatpoetrymhf's Weblog and commented:
    One of my favorites….with thanks

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