The phrase “‘ere half my days” means “before half my days [are past],” which could mean that he had “spent” his “light”–his ability to see–before he was half as old as he was when he wrote the poem.
Through the words “Ere half my days,” the speaker expresses his anguish. Since he is completely blind, these words represent how he will live the rest of his life. There will be no joy in his life in the future years. Rather than being blind in old age, he went blind in middle age. He now lives in a world that appears “dark” in at least two ways: it is no longer physically visible, and it is rife with sin and spiritual gloom. Furthermore, the universe is not only black but also “wide.” Milton will have to navigate, both physically and metaphorically, in a world fraught with peril.
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