John Milton

John Milton Poems

John Milton is considered to be one of the greatest English poets of all time. He also served as a civil servant under Oliver Cromwell. His greatest work is Paradise Lost, an epic poem about Satan’s fall from Heaven and attempted rebellion against God. Read more about John Milton.

Sonnet 19 – (On His Blindness) When I Consider How My Light Is Spent

by John Milton
Of all his short poems, 'Sonnet 19' is arguably John Milton's finest work. He is one of the few poets in history to explore the perspective of a blind person with personal experience to influence it, having gone blind himself. The poem is therefore a unique and fascinating mediation on the nature of sight, blindness, loss and hope by one of England greatest ever writers.

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

On Shakespeare. 1630

by John Milton

‘On Shakespeare.1630’ by John Milton describes inappropriate monuments to the life of William Shakespeare and what the only true sepulchre consists of. 

Written to accompany a new Shakespeare folio in 1630, this poem intends to celebrate the life and literary accomplishments of England's greatest writer. In doing so, Milton helped enshrine his status as one of them. The attention paid to Shakespeare's form, as the poem resembles a sonnet, for which The Bard was famous, adds an additional layer to this superb tribute. It undoubtedly ranks among Milton's best and most accessible poems.

What needs my Shakespeare for his honoured bones,

The labor of an age in pilèd stones,

Or that his hallowed relics should be hid

Under a star-ypointing pyramid?

How Soon Hath Time

by John Milton

John Milton’s infamous literary classic, ‘How Soon Hath Time’ explores various aspects, reflecting on his mood, conflicts with beliefs, and personal shortcomings, and most of all, the expediency of time.

How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,

       Stol'n on his wing my three-and-twentieth year!

       My hasting days fly on with full career,

       But my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th.

On Time

by John Milton

‘On Time’ by John Milton describes the one element of human existence which must be extinguished for a truly utopian world to exist.

Fly envious Time, till thou run out thy race,

Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,

Whose speed is but the heavy Plummets pace;

And glut thy self with what thy womb devours,