Glynn Young asked HCB members to consider a poem that “had an impact on you, that you remember, or that you enjoyed, and write a poem about it” as an offering for the group’s Random Acts of Poetry.
“What poem do you come from?” he asked.
I thought and thought and thought and finally chose this poem by John Milton. The last line is my favorite.
When I Consider How My Light is Spent
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-labor, 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 base: 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 (1673)
Milton gradually lost his vision between 1644 and 1652
And here is my, perhaps corny, attempt.
When I Consider How My Life’s Been Spent
When I consider how my life’s been spent
Up to this point in trying hard to meet
The expectations man laid at my feet
And Martha work wore thin this fragile tent,
I long for years that I perceive long lost
While secret passion lay unclaimed, unused
And time that’s given all I fear abused
I didn’t take the time to count the cost.
Then focus clears and now I see anew
My days within His loving hands He holds
My Mary heart finds rest, my burden rolls
I am allowed to be–before I do.