Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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AT BOLOGNA, IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE LATE INSURRECTIONS, 1837

III. CONCLUDED

          AS leaves are to the tree whereon they grow
          And wither, every human generation
          Is, to the Being of a mighty nation,
          Locked in our world's embrace through weal and woe;
          Thought that should teach the zealot to forego
          Rash schemes, to abjure all selfish agitation,
          And seek through noiseless pains and moderation
          The unblemished good they only can bestow.
          Alas! with most, who weigh futurity
          Against time present, passion holds the scales:             10
          Hence equal ignorance of both prevails,
          And nations sink; or, struggling to be free,
          Are doomed to flounder on, like wounded whales
          Tossed on the bosom of a stormy sea.


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