What literary devices are in the poem "How soon Hath time" by John Milton?

Are there any similes, metaphors, alliteration etc. in the poem? What about figurative language or imagery?

1 How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,

2 Stol'n on his wing my three-and-twentieth year!

3 My hasting days fly on with full career,

4 But my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th.

5 Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth

6 That I to manhood am arriv'd so near;

7 And inward ripeness doth much less appear,

8 That some more timely-happy spirits endu'th.

9Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,

10 It shall be still in strictest measure ev'n

11 To that same lot, however mean or high,

12Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Heav'n:

13 All is, if I have grace to use it so

14 As ever in my great Task-Master's eye.

Expert Answers

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John Milton's "How soon hath Time" includes metaphors and some alliteration, though metaphor is the more dominant literary device in this poem. Milton primarily uses metaphor to describe the passage of time and the process of aging.

The first stanza of the sonnet reads,

How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stol'n on his wing my three-and-twentieth year!
My hasting days fly on with full career,
But my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th. (1-4)
The first line personifies time and figuratively describes it as a "thief" that steals the speaker's "youth." The speaker goes on to describe how quickly time passes, as the "days fly on" 93). The speaker, however, does not feel that his age shows, which is metaphorically described in line 4 as "no bud or blossom." Each line contains alliteration in that a consonant sound is repeated at least twice in the line ("How" and "hath" in line 1, "bud" and "blossom" in 4, etc.).
The next stanza continues,
Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth
That...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 809 words.)

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