What is the sonnet "How Soon Hath Time" by John Milton about?


Quick Answer

John Milton's sonnet "How Soon Hath Time" is a contemplation on the relationship between youth, adulthood and time. The sonnet is believed to have been written as a response to a friend who was pushing Milton to join the ministry and to stop studying and wasting his life.

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Full Answer

The poem was written after Milton turned 24, suggested by the lines "How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth/Stol'n on his wing my three-and-twentieth year!" The sonnet explains that time is inevitable and that to worry about its passing is ill advised since only the "Task-Master," or God, is capable of controlling it.

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