John Milton (1608-1674)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-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.
n.b. (note well) This is a Petrarchan sonnet. John Milton was one of Mary Shelley's favorite poets and he is the author of Paradise Lost. In writing Frankenstein: Or the Modern Prometheus Shelley quoted from his poetry extensively - as she also did from both her husband's and Wordworth's.