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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works




A SUDDEN conflict rises from the swell
Of a proud slavery met by tenets strained
In Liberty's behalf. Fears, true or feigned,
Spread through all ranks; and lo! the Sentinel
Who loudest rang his pulpit 'larum bell,
Stands at the Bar, absolved by female eyes
Mingling their glances with grave flatteries
Lavished on 'Him'--that England may rebel
Against her ancient virtue. HIGH and LOW,
Watchwords of Party, on all tongues are rife;
As if a Church, though sprung from heaven, must owe
To opposites and fierce extremes her life,--
Not to the golden mean, and quiet flow
Of truths that soften hatred, temper strife.