John Milton

* * *

        To the Lord General Cromwell, May 1652,
On the proposals of certain ministers at the Committee for
        Propagation of the Gospel

Cromwell, our chief of men, who through a cloud
       Not of war only, but detractions rude,
       Guided by faith and matchless fortitude,
       To peace and truth thy glorious way hast plough'd,
And on the neck of crowned Fortune proud
       Hast rear'd God's trophies, and his work pursu'd,
       While Darwen stream with blood of Scots imbru'd,
       And Dunbar field, resounds thy praises loud,
And Worcester's laureate wreath; yet much remains
       To conquer still: peace hath her victories
       No less renown'd than war. New foes arise
Threat'ning to bind our souls with secular chains:
       Help us to save free Conscience from the paw
       Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw.

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