Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
 
VI. Human Experience
On his Blindness
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,
  Lodged 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-labor, 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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