Verse > Oscar Wilde > Poems

Oscar Wilde (1854–1900).  Poems.  1881.

4. To Milton

MILTON! I think thy spirit hath passed away 
  From these white cliffs, and high-embattled towers; 
  This gorgeous fiery-coloured world of ours 
Seems fallen into ashes dull and grey, 
And the age changed unto a mimic play         5
  Wherein we waste our else too-crowded hours: 
  For all our pomp and pageantry and powers 
We are but fit to delve the common clay, 
Seeing this little isle on which we stand, 
  This England, this sea-lion of the sea,  10
  By ignorant demagogues is held in fee, 
Who love her not: Dear God! is this the land 
  Which bare a triple empire in her hand 
  When Cromwell spake the word Democracy! 



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