Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works

LONDON, 1802

          MILTON! thou should'st 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:            10
          Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
          So didst thou travel on life's common way,
          In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
          The lowliest duties on herself did lay.



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