Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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"IT IS NOT TO BE THOUGHT OF"

          IT is not to be thought of that the Flood
          Of British freedom, which, to the open sea
          Of the world's praise, from dark antiquity
          Hath flowed, "with pomp of waters, unwithstood,"
          Roused though it be full often to a mood
          Which spurns the check of salutary bands,
          That this most famous Stream in bogs and sands
          Should perish; and to evil and to good
          Be lost for ever. In our halls is hung
          Armoury of the invincible Knights of old:                   10
          We must be free or die, who speak the tongue
          That Shakspeare spake; the faith and morals hold
          Which Milton held.--In everything we are sprung
          Of Earth's first blood, have titles manifold.


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