William Wordsworth

England, 1802


WHEN I have borne in memory what has tamed
    Great Nations, how ennobling thoughts depart
    When men change swords for ledgers, and desert
The student’s bower for gold, some fears unnamed
I had, my Country!—am I to be blamed?
    Now, when I think of thee, and what thou art,
    Verily, in the bottom of my heart,
Of those unfilial fears I am ashamed.
For dearly must we prize thee; we who find
    In thee a bulwark for the cause of men;
    And I by my affection was beguiled:
    What wonder if a Poet now and then,
Among the many movements of his mind,
    Felt for thee as a lover or a child!