James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.
The Lost Leader
By Robert Browning (18121889)
Wordsworth had always been a Whig in politics until he was appointed Laureate on April 5, 1843, which necessitated a change of views. Browning has denied that he had Wordsworth in mind when writing The Lost Leader, but the idea that it was intended for the Laureate still prevails.
JUST for a handful of silver he left us,
Just for a ribbon to stick in his coat
Found the one gift of which fortune bereft us,
Lost all the others she lets us devote,
They, with the gold to give, doled him out silver,