Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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"THERE IS A BONDAGE WORSE, FAR WORSE, TO BEAR"

          THERE is a bondage worse, far worse, to bear
          Than his who breathes, by roof, and floor, and wall,
          Pent in, a Tyrant's solitary Thrall:
          'Tis his who walks about in the open air,
          One of a Nation who, henceforth, must wear
          Their fetters in their souls. For who could be,
          Who, even the best, in such condition, free
          From self-reproach, reproach that he must share
          With Human-nature? Never be it ours
          To see the sun how brightly it will shine,                  10
          And know that noble feelings, manly powers,
          Instead of gathering strength, must droop and pine;
          And earth with all her pleasant fruits and flowers
          Fade, and participate in man's decline.


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