To Milton

by Oscar Wilde

  Milton ! I think thy spirit hath passed away
From these white cliffs and high-embattled towers;
   This gorgeous fiery-coloured world of ours
Seems fallen into ashes dull and grey,
And the age changed unto a mimic play
   Wherein we waste our else too-crowded hours:
   For all our pomp and pageantry and powers
We are but fit to delve the common clay,
Seeing this little isle on which we stand,
   This England, this sea-lion of the sea,
   By ignorant demagogues is held in fee,
Who love her not: Dear God! is this the land
   Which bare a triple empire in her hand
   When Cromwell spake the word Democracy!

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