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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

"HERE PAUSE: THE POET CLAIMS AT LEAST THIS PRAISE"

HERE pause: the poet claims at least this praise,
That virtuous Liberty hath been the scope
Of his pure song, which did not shrink from hope
In the worst moment of these evil days;
From hope, the paramount 'duty' that Heaven lays,
For its own honour, on man's suffering heart.
Never may from our souls one truth depart--
That an accursed thing it is to gaze
On prosperous tyrants with a dazzled eye;
Nor--touched with due abhorrence of 'their' guilt
For whose dire ends tears flow, and blood is spilt,
And justice labours in extremity--
Forget thy weakness, upon which is built,
O wretched man, the throne of tyranny!

1811.