On His Blindness – Milton


On His Blindness by John Milton

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
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.

PS: This is a famous sonnet by the English poet John Milton (1608 – 1674). Milton became blind at the height of his career – at a very young age, and had to deal with the disability for the rest of his life. In this poem, he describes his struggle and the frustration that he feels with his condition. The last line “They also serve who only stand and wait” is the famous philosophical conclusion that he arrives at 🙂 🙂

This line sums up that everyone in this world, irrespective of their abilities or disabilities, has a purpose….. even those who are spending most of their time battling adversity in a brave manner and merely being patient, are faithfully serving their purpose. It’s very inspiring to note that he went on to write “Paradise Lost” – one of the greatest epic poems in English, after he became blind, and did not let his disability hinder his creativity.


  1 comment for “On His Blindness – Milton

  1. Abhijit
    5 Nov 2019 at 11:47 am

    Beautiful post. Loved the explanation . Informative.

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