Wordsworth is adressing the soul of the John Milton, he sees the dead poet as an idol for comtemporary British nation, and in order to give his virtous manners to society, he thinks that the poet must be alive ‘ at this hour’. Wordsworth is highly critical of England, the institutions such as the church, the military and especially monarchy, which lost its connection with its legendary historical value. The poem is structured as a sonnet, the octave is starting with a cry for ‘Milton! ‘ and emphasises that he should be living at this era.
The reason of the existence of such a necessity is explained at the following lines, and the specific choice of John Milton is clarified at sestet. The poem has an enthusiastic tone, it starts with an outburst and ends with praises for John Milton, it is a tribute for John Milton and a critic for contemporary British nation. England describes as ‘fen’ and this metaphor is valid for ‘altar, sword and pen’, the speaker suggests that all these institutions are in a fen and waters are ‘stagnant ‘ therefore there is no change, this situation is permanent.
Fireside’ and ‘hall and bower’ presumably points out houses and the British royalty with its ‘heroic wealth’. The poet claims that the Monarchy ‘forfeited’ their heritafe of happiness, the rhyme at ‘bower’ and ‘dower ‘ drawing the words together in meaning as in sound, and with the rhyme at ‘fen’ and ‘pen’ its underpinned that the literature is highly corrupted. The reference for losing touch with the ‘dower’ perhaps suggesting the people who are against Monarchy, the ‘ancient’ heritage, there is a loss which is both social and moral.
The subject ‘we’ indicates that the speaker himself believes that he also has the same problems which is common between nation, and it is an important sign that the poet is not critisising the others, he feels for them, therefore wants them to be ‘raised up’ by the poet’s soul, this simple point shows the reader that the writer has no arrogance and not simply critisising the nation, the passion inside of him and the love for his nation makes him to want best for his counrty and people.
Milton, who has manners such as ‘virtue, freedom, power’ and these words also suggesting what England needs at that time. The last part of the poem, sestet, is like a tribute for John Milton, admires the poet and shows that what is the reason of need for him. The mind of the reader is clarified by the poet, Wordsworth presumably suggest that there is a need for people who has virtuous manners, entellectual minds with humble soul, all of these features are matching with the Milton’s character according to him, therefore the poet thinks that the British nation should give manners by him.
The reverence for Milton is clear at the first line of the sestet, the soul of him described as a ‘star’ with a capital S which probably suggests respect to him, and his soul is ‘dwelt apart’ from other people’s soul, it is described as ‘the sea’ which can be soft and harsh time to time, with the rhyme on ‘sea’ and ‘free’ the poet draws the words together, and implies that Milton was free like sea, however with pointing ‘heavens’ it is more likely for the reader think that his voice was calm and sweet.
The life of the poet was ‘cheerful godliness’ in his heart, again value of the poet is similar to a saint for the writer. The poem is written with iambic pentameter which intensifies the effects of outburst, enthusiasm and admiration. The title of the poem is giving information about the time which is the poet is referring, and this gives a further appreciation about the era at the poem written.