On His Blindness

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On His Blindness
by John Milton

"Sonnet on His Blindness" (by John Milton, 1608-74). This is the most stately and pathetic sonnet in existence. The soul enduring enforced idleness and loss of power without repining. Inactivity made to serve a higher end.

           "All service ranks the same with God!
            There is no first or last."

    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.