What is the theme of "London 1802" by William Wordsworth?Milton

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troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Wordsworth dedicates this poem to Milton--London has gotten completely out of hand.  He sees London in need of a leader who can lead them from the "fen of stagnant waters."

"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"

He longs to be what London used to be--a place of virtue and freedom.  I often talk to my seniors about how different the freshman class acts compared to what they were like when they were freshmen.  They can't believe some of the things that they do and say.  This is just like the poem.  Society is getting worse and worse.  The theme is moral decay--and our need of a leader to get us out of such a mess.  (keep in mind this is 1802! not 2009!)