Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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          DISCOURSE was deemed Man's noblest attribute,
          And written words the glory of his hand;
          Then followed Printing with enlarged command
          For thought--dominion vast and absolute
          For spreading truth, and making love expand.
          Now prose and verse sunk into disrepute
          Must lacquey a dumb Art that best can suit
          The taste of this once-intellectual Land.
          A backward movement surely have we here,
          From manhood,--back to childhood; for the age--             10
          Back towards caverned life's first rude career.
          Avaunt this vile abuse of pictured page!
          Must eyes be all in all, the tongue and ear
          Nothing? Heaven keep us from a lower stage!
                                                              1846.


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