London, 1802 by William Wordsworth


"London, 1802" is a poem written by William Wordsworth. In this writing, Wordsworth is begging John Milton to come back to life and "give us manners, virtue, freedom, power". In this line, "us" refers to England. He claims that England needs Milton and they would be better off. Sadly, Milton went "thou travel on life's common way", also known as dying. We all die and thus, it is "life's common way".

This poem is written as one stanza and is fourteen lines long. It is written in iambic-pentameter. It us thus safe to assume it is written as a sonnet. The rhyme scheme is ABBAABBA-CDDECE. This makes it an Italian Sonnet.


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;
Oh! 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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