Saturday, March 24, 2007

On Coping with One's Limitations

John Milton was once generally deemed the greatest poet to have ever written in the English language; indeed to some he still is. Milton needs little introduction, other than to mention that he was a supporter of and propagandist for Oliver Cromwell, that he was an exception linguist, reading English, Hebrew, Syriac, Greek, Latin, Italian, French, and Spanish, that he became a strong advocate of divorce after his marriage collapsed, and that he went blind.

Here is his poem "On His Blindness," which I hope may offer some solace to anyone laboring to cope with the limitations that fate has imposed:

On His Blindness

When I consider how my light is spent,
E're 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, least he returning chide,
Doth God exact day-labour, light deny'd,
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 milde yoak, they serve him best, his State
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o're Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and waite.

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1 comment:

elena maria vidal said...

I love Milton's Paradise Lost! My grandpa was named after Milton....