William Wordsworth

1770-1850 / Cumberland / England

England Ii

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.
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