When I Consider How my Light is Spent

Author: John Milton


Milton 1673: Original Text Reference. Composition Date: 1652-55. Publication Date: 1673. Ed. (text): A. S. P. Woodhouse and Hugh MacCallum; (e-text): I. Lancashire. Rep. Poetry: 3RP.1.238.

1 When I consider how my light is spent 2 Ere half my days in this dark world and wide, 3 And that one talent which is death to hide 4 Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent 5 To serve therewith my Maker, and present 6 My true account, lest he returning chide, 7 "Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?" 8 I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent 9 That murmur, soon replies: "God doth not need 10 Either man's work or his own gifts: who best 11 Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state 12 Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed 13 And post o'er land and ocean without rest: 14 They also serve who only stand and wait."

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