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Fridays are for Poetry

November 14, 2008

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a lecture celebrating the quatercentenary anniversary of the birth of John Milton (1608-1674). I am ashamed to say that this was my first introduction to Milton. In any case, the lecture was stimulating and I thought it would be worthwhile to share a Milton poem with our faithful readers here at SOS.

John Milton, “On Time”

Fly envious Time, till thou run out thy race,
Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,
Whose speed is but the heavy plummet’s pace;
And glut thyself with what thy womb devours,
Which is no more than what is false and vain,
And merely mortal dross;
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain.
For when as each thing bad thou hast entombed,
And last of all, thy greedy self consumed,
Then long eternity shall greet our bliss
With an individual kiss;
And joy shall overtake us as a flood,
When every thing that is sincerely good
And perfectly divine,
With Truth, and Peace, and Love shall ever shine
About the supreme throne
Of him, t’ whose happy-making sight alone,
When once our Heav’nly-guided soul shall climb,
Then all this earthly grossness quit,
Attired with stars, we shall for ever sit,
Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee O Time.

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