What is the speaker expressing in this octave from Sonnet VII by John Milton?

How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year!
My hasting days fly on with full career,
But my late spring no bud or blossom showeth.
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 endueth.
What is the speaker expressing in this octave from Sonnet VII by John Milton

1) a satisfaction with his current accomplishments

2) an impediment caused by his physical limitations

3) a trust in his faith in God and the will of Heaven

4) a setback to his poetic ambition


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  • So far he has not had much success it says his youth is over and his 23 year passed quickly without success. When it says no bud are blossom showeth it means he has nothing to show for the work he has done. The next two lines talk about how he looks like a man on the outside but does not feel like one on the inside, this shows he feels like he's done nothing to deserve being called a man. Inward ripeness doth much less appear means that he hopes things will change and that he will be more successful with his goals. Endureth means to continue in the same state/condition. So the last two lines are saying he hopes things will change for the better and stay that way. Basically this sonnet is about a young man who has not accomplished much but has hope things will change in the future. While it never specifically says God or heaven it's about his faith/hope. You can asume that his faith is in the will of God/heaven to bring him a better future.

  • It's closest to the 2nd one, but mostly it's a lament over turning 24.


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