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Sonnet 7 Summary & Analysis
by John Milton

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"Sonnet 7," often referred to by its opening line "How soon hath Time," was written by the English poet John Milton. Scholars date the sonnet to 1632, when Milton was a young man and studying in his family home, though it was not published until 1645. The poem's speaker anxiously reflects on his failure to accomplish anything big during his short life, and then comforts himself by turning to religion: he will accomplish exactly what God wants him to—nothing more and nothing less. The poem thus takes a side in the religious debates that ravaged Europe in the 17th century. Milton implicitly rejects the notion that life gains meaning through work, a position broadly associated with Catholicism. Instead, taking up a Puritan stance, he endorses the notion that his own life will be dignified by faith alone—and by the grace that God extends to him.

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