London, 1802

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London, 1802
by William Wordsworth

LONDON, 1802[1]

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;
    O 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,
In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
    The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

<1802, London>


  1. Original text: William Wordsworth, Poems in Two Volumes (1807). See The Manuscript of William Wordsworth's Poems, in Two Volumes (1807): A Facsimile (London: British Library, 1984).
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.