Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > England
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV.  1876–79.
On the Busts of Milton, in Youth and Age at Stourhead
William Lisle Bowles (1762–1850)
In Youth

MILTON, our noblest poet, in the grace
Of youth, in those fair eyes and clustering hair,
That brow untouched by one faint line of care
To mar its openness, we seem to trace
The front of the first lord of human race,        5
Mid thine own paradise portrayed so fair,
Ere sin or sorrow scathed it: such the air
That characters thy youth. Shall time efface
These lineaments as crowding cares assail!
It is the lot of fallen humanity.        10
What boots it! armed in adamantine mail,
The unconquerable mind and genius high
Right onward hold their way through weal and woe,
Or whether life’s brief lot be high or low!
In Age

And art thou he, now “fallen on evil days,”
And changed indeed! Yet what do this sunk cheek,
These thinner locks, and that calm forehead speak?
A spirit reckless of man’s blame or praise,—
A spirit, when thine eyes to the noon’s blaze
Their dark orbs roll in vain, in suffering meek,        20
As in the sight of God intent to seek,
Mid solitude or age, or through the ways
Of hard adversity, the approving look
Of its great Master; whilst the conscious pride
Of wisdom, patient and content to brook        25
All ills to that sole Master’s task applied,
Shall show before high Heaven the unaltered mind,
Milton, though thou art poor, and old, and blind!

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