1802 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Milton

William Wordsworth, "Sonnet. London, 1802" Poems (1807) 1:148.



Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour:
England hath need of thee; she is a fen
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
Have forfeited their ancient English dower
Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;
Oh! raise us up, return to us again;
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.
Thy soul was like a Star and dwelt apart;
Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea;
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
So didst thou travel on life's common way,
To cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
The lowliest duties on herself didst lay.