(National Poetry Month, Day 29)
I first encountered John Milton’s “On His Blindness” when I was 16 and taking a British Literature course in high school. I got it, but I didn’t get it. I encountered it again when I was 23 and in graduate school. I got it, but I didn’t really have time to think about it. This year, it has popped into my head innumerable times. I get it now, and I can see that it means something very important.
Over the past year, I’ve learned that the hardest thing about being patient is learning to be patient with oneself.
And I’ve learned that limitations are often very cleverly-disguised opportunities.
On His Blindness
by John Milton
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.