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John Milton : Sonnet XVII

When I consider how my light is spent1,
	Ere half my days, in this world and wide,
	And that one talent which is death to hide
	Lodged 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 ask2. 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)	1652?

 
FOOTNOTES
1 Milton had become totally blind at the time of writing of this poem; 2 for the parable of the talents see Mathew 25:14 – the servant who buried the single talent (coin) given to him by his master instead of investing it like his fellow servants, buried it in the ground; when his master returned the servant had the talent removed from him and was cast “into outer darkness”;
 

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