1820 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Milton

Anonymous, "Sonnet" St. James's Chronicle (21 December 1820).



Oh! thou pure spirit! Thou, who from on high
Did'st on our Milton's reverent heart descend,
And fill'd him with the hope thou would'st befriend
His name and fame, that they "should never die!"
Where is that mantle, now so long thrown by,
Thou wrapp'dst around him, fitly to defend
The heavenly cause he did to thee commend,
His glorious country's glorious liberty!
None see'st thou now? — not one of all the throng,
Whose tinkling harps still chime to these dark days,
O'er whom unsoil'd to cast it, sacred gift!
Who, with a prophet's sense of right and wrong,
Far above passion's transient blame or praise,
Once more a holy patriot strain might lift!
Dec. 7, 1820.