Monday, January 21, 2013

Milton - Poetry

The next poem is from John Milton.  The title is 'When I consider How my Light is Spent' and was written after he had become blind.

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-labor, 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; thousads at his bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait."

What an interesting poem!  Milton's 'talent' is obviously his way with words.  Now that he is blind, he can't write.  He can still dictate, but I imagine this is a frustrating way of continuing.  So can he stop writing?  His talent is from God, and God has seen fit to take his sight.  Is he still expected to work?
The answer is oblique at best.  God doesn't need his work.  Tasks are given out to those who can best handle them.  And although many work for him, even those who are simply still and patient are doing God's will.
And yet he still wrote.

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