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THE SONNET.
211
ON HIS BLINDNESS.
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.
Milton.
After Milton's time the sonnet was scarcely cultivated at all by our poets for upwards of a hundred years, till, early in the present century, Wordsworth revived its flickering flame, and caused it to break forth again with a new beauty and sweet­ness peculiarly his own. The taste and love that he enkindled throughout the English-speaking world for this artistic poetic gem has never since waned, and it is hardly too much to say that the sonnet is more sedulously cultivated at the present day than any other poetic form. The productions of our modern poets conform in the main to the Italian type as regards the structure of the octave, but a variable arrangement of the rhymes is adopted in the sestet. Since Wordsworth, Dante G. Rossetti, and Mrs. Browning may with confidence be mentioned as






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III