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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

TO THOMAS CLARKSON

ON THE FINAL PASSING OF THE BILL FOR THE ABOLITION OF THE SLAVE TRADE

MARCH 1807

CLARKSON! it was an obstinate hill to climb:
How toilsome--nay, how dire--it was, by thee
Is known; by none, perhaps, so feelingly:
But thou, who, starting in thy fervent prime,
Didst first lead forth that enterprise sublime,
Hast heard the constant Voice its charge repeat,
Which, out of thy young heart's oracular seat,
First roused thee.--O true yoke-fellow of Time,
Duty's intrepid liegeman, see, the palm
Is won, and by all Nations shall be worn!
The blood-stained Writing is for ever torn;
And thou henceforth wilt have a good man's calm,
A great man's happiness; thy zeal shall find
Repose at length, firm friend of human kind!