In the poem On his blindness by John Milton, we find these lines

“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”

Keeping in mind the lines above and lines below the quoted line, the quoted might mean that if God accept/want service only from who have light in their eyes?

So, keeping the probable meaning of that line in mind, I feel that "exact" might have some other meaning in archaic sense. I want the confirmation (or denial) of this and it's archaic meaning.


"Exact" here is a verb. It means "demand and get" (Oxford learner's dictionaries). The verb form is older in English, but both derive from the same Latin root. The verb is still used, but it is not common.

  • So - "Does God still require a day's work from one he has prevented from seeing?" Sep 6 '20 at 7:37
  • If you exact something from someone, you both require it and get it. Maybe 'force' would carry the meaning. Sep 6 '20 at 12:24

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