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

Written in London, September, 1802

William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

O FRIEND! I know not which way I must look

For comfort, being, as I am, opprest,

To think that now our life is only drest

For show; mean handy-work of craftsman, cook,

Or groom!—We must run glittering like a brook

In the open sunshine, or we are unblest:

The wealthiest man among us is the best:

No grandeur now in nature or in book

Delights us. Rapine, avarice, expense,

This is idolatry; and these we adore:

Plain living and high thinking are no more:

The homely beauty of the good old cause

Is gone; our peace, our fearful innocence,

And pure religion breathing household laws.