When I consider how my [light]1 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."
Song Cycle by Gerald Finzi (1901 - 1956)
1. When I consider how my life is spent  [sung text checked 1 time]
- by John Milton (1608 - 1674), "Sonnet XIX" [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
See other settings of this text.
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , "Sonett XIX: Wenn ich bedenke, wie mein Licht verblich", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- HUN Hungarian (Magyar) (Árpád Tóth) , "A vak szonettje"
- ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
1 Finzi: "life"
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
2. How soon hath Time  [sung text checked 1 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. Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth That I to manhood am arrived so near; And inward ripeness doth much less appear, That some more timely-happy spirits endu'th. Yet it be less or more, or soon or slow, It shall be still in strictest measure even To that same lot, however mean or high, Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Heav'n: All is, if I have grace to use it so As ever in my great Task-Master's eye.
- by John Milton (1608 - 1674), "Sonnet VII" [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]