Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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"THE POWER OF ARMIES IS A VISIBLE THING"

          THE power of Armies is a visible thing,
          Formal, and circumscribed in time and space;
          But who the limits of that power shall trace
          Which a brave People into light can bring
          Or hide, at will,--for freedom combating
          By just revenge inflamed? No foot may chase,
          No eye can follow, to a fatal place
          That power, that spirit, whether on the wing
          Like the strong wind, or sleeping like the wind
          Within its awful caves.--From year to year                  10
          Springs this indigenous produce far and near;
          No craft this subtle element can bind,
          Rising like water from the soil, to find
          In every nook a lip that it may cheer.
                                                              1811.


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