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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

When I Have Borne in Memory What Has Tamed

William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

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?