Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Another Sonnet - William Wordsworth

I'm still making my way through Wordsworth's Poetical Works, and came across another sonnet I enjoyed. This one (entitled November, 1806) relates to Napoleon's progress through Europe, and really conveys the poet's anxiety and fear much more directly and powerfully than most of his others.

Another year! another deadly blow!
Another mighty empire overthrown!
And we are left, or shall be left, alone;
The last that dares to struggle with the foe.
'Tis well! from this day forward we shall know
That in ourselves our safety must be sought:
That by our own right hands it must be wrought,
That we must stand unpropp'd, or be laid low.
O dastard, whom such foretaste doth not cheer!
We shall exult, if they that rule the land

Be men who hold its many blessings dear,
Wise, upright, valiant; not a venal band,
Who are to judge of danger which they fear,
And honour, which they do not understand.

I have to say, I do like that last couplet.

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