What is England's inheritance according to "London, 1802" by William Wordsworth?

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In "London, 1802" by William Wordsworth, England's inheritance is described as the "heroic wealth of hall and bower" and the "ancient English dower / Of inward happiness." This signifies a rich cultural and historical heritage, exemplified by figures like John Milton. However, the speaker laments that this heritage has been overshadowed by selfishness, lack of virtue, and powerlessness in contemporary society.

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According to the speaker, England ought to have inherited "the heroic wealth of hall and bower" and the "ancient English dower / Of inward happiness." It is a country of mythic heroes, culture, and history. However, despite this rich and meaningful inheritance—passed down from illustrious poets like John Milton, who had a soul "like a Star"—England has descended into a "fen / Of stagnant waters." The speaker evidently feels that the heroism of the past has disintegrated; now, people are selfish, lacking in virtue, and powerless. Milton, he says, lived in his life in "cheerful godliness," humility, and purity, and he led by example. The speaker holds Milton up as an example of all that a resident of England ought to be, what they could be as a result of their cultural heritage, but he is also a yardstick of their failure.

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