To the Lord General Cromwell, May 1652

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To the Lord General Cromwell, May 1652  (1694) 
by John Milton
From The Complete Poetical Works of John Milton, 1899 edition. This sonnet was composed in 1652, regarding the proposals of some ministers at the Committee for Propagation of the Gospel; it could not be published until 1694 because the subject would have offended the restored Stuart monarchy.

TO THE LORD GENERAL CROMWELL, ON THE PROPOSALS OF CERTAIN MINISTERS AT THE COMMITTEE FOR PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL

(1652)

Cromwell, our chief of men, who through a cloud
 Not of war only, but detractions rude,
 Guided by faith and matchless fortitude,
 To peace and truth thy glorious way hast ploughed,
And on the neck of crowned Fortune proud
 Hast reared God's trophies, and his work pursued,
 While Darwen stream, with blood of Scots imbrued,
 And Dunbar field, resounds thy praises loud,
And Worcester's laureate wreath: yet much remains
 To conquer still; Peace hath her victories
 No less renowned than War: new foes arise,
Threatening to bind our souls with secular chains.
 Help us to save free conscience from the paw
 Of hireling wolves, whose Gospel is their maw.