THE SAME. (or London, 1802).
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.
|W. WORDSWORTH., THE GOLDEN TREASURY Of the best Songs and Lyrical Pieces In the English Language Selected by Francis Turner Palgrave
||Notes: "London, 1802" is a sonnet by the English Romantic poet William Wordsworth. In the poem Wordsworth castigates the English people as stagnant and selfish, and eulogizes seventeenth-century poet John Milton. Composed in 1802, "London, 1802" was published for the first time in Poems, in Two Volumes (1807). Its 14 lines are written in iambic pentameter, and it's formed using the Petrarchan rhyme scheme, (a-b-b-a, a-b-b-a, c-d-d-e, c-e).
This poem reveals both Wordsworth's moralism and his growing conservatism. Wordsworth frequently sought to "communicate natural morality to his readers" through his poetry. In this sonnet, he urges morality and selflessness to his readers, criticizing the English for being stagnant and selfish, for lacking "manners, virtue, [and] freedom." But he also refers to "inward happiness" as a natural English right, or "dower," and asks Milton to bestow "power" as well as virtue on the English. These are among Wordsworth's "few explicitly nationalistic verses--shades, perhaps, of the conservatism that took hold in his old age."
Phillips, Brian."London, 1802". "SparkNote on Wordsworth's Poetry". Retrieved on 17 August, 2007.