Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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LINES ON THE EXPECTED INVASION, 1803

          COME ye--who, if (which Heaven avert!) the Land
          Were with herself at strife, would take your stand,
          Like gallant Falkland, by the Monarch's side,
          And, like Montrose, make Loyalty your pride--
          Come ye--who, not less zealous, might display
          Banners at enmity with regal sway,
          And, like the Pyms and Miltons of that day,
          Think that a State would live in sounder health
          If Kingship bowed its head to Commonwealth--
          Ye too--whom no discreditable fear                          10
          Would keep, perhaps with many a fruitless tear,
          Uncertain what to choose and how to steer--
          And ye--who might mistake for sober sense
          And wise reserve the plea of indolence--
          Come ye--whate'er your creed--O waken all,
          Whate'er your temper, at your Country's call;
          Resolving (this a free-born Nation can)
          To have one Soul, and perish to a man,
          Or save this honoured Land from every Lord
          But British reason and the British sword.                   20


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