Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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MISCELLANEOUS SONNETS, 1842

IV. IN ALLUSION TO VARIOUS RECENT HISTORIES AND NOTICES OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

          PORTENTOUS change when History can appear
          As the cool Advocate of foul device;
          Reckless audacity extol, and jeer
          At consciences perplexed with scruples nice!
          They who bewail not, must abhor, the sneer
          Born of Conceit, Power's blind Idolater;
          Or haply sprung from vaunting Cowardice
          Betrayed by mockery of holy fear.
          Hath it not long been said the wrath of Man
          Works not the righteousness of God? Oh bend,                10
          Bend, ye Perverse! to judgments from on High,
          Laws that lay under Heaven's perpetual ban
          All principles of action that transcend
          The sacred limits of humanity.


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