Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
Sonnets: On His Blindness
By John Milton (1608–1674)
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        5
  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        10
  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.’

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