526. England, 1802

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 flow'd, 'with pomp of waters, unwithstood,'
Roused though it be full often to a mood
  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:
We must be free or die, who speak the tongue
  That Shakespeare spake; the faith and morals hold
Which Milton held.--In everything we are sprung
  Of Earth's first blood, have titles manifold.

The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition