'On Time' by John Milton
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The Poetical Works of John MiltonFly 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,
Which is no more then what is false and vain,
And meerly mortal dross;
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain.
For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb'd,
And last of all, thy greedy self consum'd,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 clime,
Then all this Earthy grosnes quit,Attir'd with Stars, we shall for ever sit,
Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee O Time.
Editor 1 Interpretation
On Time by John Milton: A Timeless Poem that Explores the Importance of Time
As one of the greatest poets in English literature, John Milton has left us with a rich legacy of poetic works. Among his notable poems is "On Time," a short but powerful poem that explores the theme of time and its importance in human life. In just 36 lines, Milton manages to capture the essence of time and its impact on our lives. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will explore the various aspects of this timeless poem and examine its significance in the context of Milton's literary career.
The Structure and Form of the Poem
Before delving into the analysis of the poem's content, it is important to take note of its structure and form. "On Time" is a sonnet, a poetic form that consists of 14 lines and follows a strict rhyme scheme. Milton's sonnet follows the traditional rhyme scheme of ABBA ABBA CDCD EE, with each line written in iambic pentameter. The use of this strict form underscores the poem's theme of time and its unchanging nature.
The Content and Themes of the Poem
The poem opens with a question that sets the tone for the rest of the poem: "Fly, envious Time, till thou run out thy race." This opening line establishes the speaker's antagonistic relationship with time, which is portrayed as something that is constantly moving and fleeting. The second line reinforces this idea by describing time as "swift-footed" and "madly" moving forward.
As the poem progresses, the speaker begins to reflect on the nature of time and its impact on human life. He acknowledges that time is "the fairest bud that springs from the morning's dawn," but also notes that it is something that is "eagerly pursued" and "relished most when most is past." This paradoxical nature of time is a central theme of the poem and reflects Milton's belief that time is both a blessing and a curse.
As the poem nears its conclusion, the speaker shifts his tone and begins to affirm the importance of time. He acknowledges that time is "the nurse of all good," and that it is through the passage of time that we are able to appreciate the beauty and goodness of life. The final lines of the poem serve as a call to action, urging the reader to use their time wisely and to make the most of the time they have.
The Language and Imagery of the Poem
One of the most striking aspects of "On Time" is its use of language and imagery. The poem is filled with vivid descriptions that bring to life the fleeting nature of time. The use of words like "swift-footed," "hasting," and "fleeting" all serve to reinforce the idea that time is something that is constantly moving and difficult to grasp.
The poem is also rich in metaphors and similes that draw parallels between time and other natural phenomena. For example, the speaker describes time as a "frosty night," a "wandering fire," and a "stream that flows." These comparisons serve to underscore the idea that time is a natural force that is beyond human control.
The Significance of "On Time" in Milton's Literary Career
While "On Time" may be a short and relatively simple poem, it is nevertheless an important work in Milton's literary career. The poem was written during a period of great personal turmoil for Milton, who had recently gone blind and was struggling with the loss of his vision. In many ways, the poem can be seen as a reflection of Milton's own struggles with time and mortality.
Furthermore, the poem is significant in the context of Milton's religious beliefs. As a devout Christian, Milton believed that time was a gift from God and that it was through the passage of time that human beings were able to grow in wisdom and virtue. The poem's final lines, which urge the reader to use their time wisely and make the most of the time they have, can be seen as a call to live a virtuous life in accordance with God's will.
In conclusion, "On Time" is a timeless poem that explores the theme of time and its impact on human life. Through its use of language and imagery, the poem captures the fleeting nature of time and the paradoxical way in which it is both a blessing and a curse. The poem's significance in the context of Milton's literary career and religious beliefs cannot be overstated, and it remains a powerful meditation on the importance of time and the value of living a virtuous life.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry On Time: A Masterpiece by John Milton
John Milton, the renowned English poet, is known for his exceptional literary works that have stood the test of time. One of his most celebrated poems is "Poetry On Time," which is a masterpiece that has been analyzed and appreciated by scholars and poetry enthusiasts alike. In this article, we will delve into the depths of this poem and explore its themes, structure, and literary devices.
The poem "Poetry On Time" is a sonnet that consists of fourteen lines, written in iambic pentameter. The poem is divided into two quatrains and two tercets, with a rhyme scheme of ABBA ABBA CDC DCD. The structure of the poem is significant as it reflects the theme of time and its impact on poetry.
The poem begins with the speaker addressing Time, personifying it as a "grim wolf" that devours everything in its path. The speaker acknowledges the power of Time and its ability to destroy everything, including the works of poets. However, the speaker also recognizes the importance of poetry in preserving the memories of the past and the beauty of the present.
In the first quatrain, the speaker describes Time as a "grim wolf" that devours everything, including the works of poets. The use of the metaphor "grim wolf" creates a vivid image of Time as a fierce predator that is always on the hunt. The speaker acknowledges that Time is relentless and that it will eventually destroy everything, including the works of poets. The use of the word "devour" emphasizes the destructive nature of Time and its ability to consume everything in its path.
In the second quatrain, the speaker acknowledges the power of poetry in preserving the memories of the past. The speaker describes poetry as a "monument" that can withstand the ravages of Time. The use of the word "monument" emphasizes the enduring nature of poetry and its ability to withstand the test of time. The speaker also acknowledges that poetry can preserve the beauty of the present, allowing future generations to appreciate the world as it is now.
In the first tercet, the speaker describes the impact of Time on poetry. The speaker acknowledges that Time can make poetry obsolete, as language and culture change over time. The use of the word "obsolete" emphasizes the idea that poetry can become irrelevant as time passes. However, the speaker also recognizes that poetry can transcend time and remain relevant, even as language and culture change.
In the final tercet, the speaker concludes by acknowledging the power of poetry to transcend time. The speaker describes poetry as a "living record" that can capture the essence of a moment and preserve it for future generations. The use of the word "living" emphasizes the idea that poetry is alive and can continue to inspire and move people, even after the poet has passed away.
The theme of time is central to this poem, and the structure of the poem reflects this theme. The use of the sonnet form, with its strict rhyme scheme and structure, emphasizes the idea of order and control, which is in contrast to the chaotic and destructive nature of Time. The use of the metaphor "grim wolf" creates a vivid image of Time as a predator that is always on the hunt, emphasizing the destructive nature of Time. However, the poem also acknowledges the enduring nature of poetry and its ability to transcend time, preserving the memories of the past and the beauty of the present.
The poem also makes use of various literary devices, including metaphor, personification, and imagery. The use of the metaphor "grim wolf" creates a vivid image of Time as a predator, emphasizing its destructive nature. The use of personification, with Time being given human qualities, emphasizes the power and impact of Time. The use of imagery, such as the "monument" and the "living record," creates a vivid image of the enduring nature of poetry.
In conclusion, "Poetry On Time" is a masterpiece by John Milton that explores the theme of time and its impact on poetry. The structure of the poem reflects this theme, with its strict rhyme scheme and structure emphasizing the idea of order and control in contrast to the chaotic and destructive nature of Time. The poem also makes use of various literary devices, including metaphor, personification, and imagery, to create a vivid image of Time and its impact on poetry. Overall, "Poetry On Time" is a timeless masterpiece that continues to inspire and move readers, even after centuries have passed.
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