Sunday, June 20, 2010

When I Consider How My Light is Spent*

(Sonnet XIX)
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."


---John Milton

*A poem on his imprending blindness

**It would be a "mini-death" to have to give up writing poetry.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rest

O Earth, lie heavily upon her eyes;
Seal her sweet eyes weary of watching, Earth;
Lie close around her; leave no room for mirth
With its harsh laughter, nor for sound of sighs.
She hath no questions, she hath no replies,
Hushed in and curtained with a blessed dearth
Of all that irked her from the hour of birth;
With stillness that is almost Paradise.
Darkness more clear than noon-day holdeth her,
Silence more musical than any song;
Even her very heart has ceased to stir:
Until the morning of Eternity
Her rest shall not begin nor end, but be;
And when she wakes she will not think it long.
--Christina Rossetti

From Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862)