Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald
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   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
401. We Must Be Free or Die
 
William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
 
 
IT is not to be thought of that the flood
Of British freedom, which, to the open sea
Of the world’s praise, from dark antiquity
Hath flowed, ‘with pomp of waters, unwithstood,’
Roused though it be full often to a mood        5
Which spurns the check of salutary bands,
That this most famous Stream in bogs and sands
Should perish; and to evil and to good
Be lost for ever. In our halls is hung
Armoury of the invincible knights of old:        10
We must be free or die, who speak the tongue
That Shakespeare spoke: the faith and morals hold
Which Milton held.—In everything we are sprung
Of Earth’s first blood, have titles manifold.
 

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