Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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"THE MARTIAL COURAGE OF A DAY IS VAIN"

          THE martial courage of a day is vain,
          An empty noise of death the battle's roar,
          If vital hope be wanting to restore,
          Or fortitude be wanting to sustain,
          Armies or kingdoms. We have heard a strain
          Of triumph, how the labouring Danube bore
          A weight of hostile corses; drenched with gore
          Were the wide fields, the hamlets heaped with slain.
          Yet see (the mighty tumult overpast)
          Austria a daughter of her Throne hath sold!                 10
          And her Tyrolean Champion we behold
          Murdered, like one ashore by shipwreck cast,
          Murdered without relief. Oh! blind as bold,
          To think that such assurance can stand fast!
                                                              1809.


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