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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

ON A CELEBRATED EVENT IN ANCIENT HISTORY

A ROMAN Master stands on Grecian ground,
And to the people at the Isthmian Games
Assembled, He, by a herald's voice, proclaims
THE LIBERTY OF GREECE:--the words rebound
Until all voices in one voice are drowned;
Glad acclamation by which air was rent!
And birds, high-flying in the element,
Dropped to the earth, astonished at the sound!
Yet were the thoughtful grieved; and still that voice
Haunts, with sad echoes, musing Fancy's ear:
Ah! that a 'Conqueror's' words should be so dear:
Ah! that a 'boon' could shed such rapturous joys!
A gift of that which is not to be given
By all the blended powers of Earth and Heaven.