How soon hath Time
, the subtle thief of youth
Stolen on his wing my three-and-twentieth
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;
An inward ripeness
doth much less appear,
That some more timely
-happy spirits endu'th.
Yet, be it 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 Heaven:
All is, if I have grace to use it so,
As ever in my great Task-master's eye.
- John Milton.