“On His Blindness” Poem by John Milton

“On His Blindness” has been written by John Milton and it is a lyric poem having 14 lines. This poem is among his more mature poems. It shows us Milton’s command over the Italian form of sonnets, bringing it almost to the point of perfection. It has the form of a Petrarchan sonnet with a dominant rhyme scheme of ABBAABBA CDECDE. The poem has been composed in iambic pentameter, having alternating pairs of stressed and unstressed syllables as in,

“When I | con – sid- | er how | my life | is spent
Ere half | my days | in this | dark world | and wide”

Milton has used a metaphor to compare between his soul and mind by the lines,

“though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker”

We can see the use of alliteration in the following lines,

“Ere half my days in this dark world and wide”

The central theme of the poem is that man will be judged by God according to whether they have worked for Him using all of their abilities. To further stress this theme Milton uses a paradox in the concluding line of the poem where he says,

“They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Milton has also personified patience as a person, who can speak in,

“But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies”.
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