The Power of Armies is a Visible Thing
2Formal and circumscribed in time and space;
3But who the limits of that power shall trace
4Which a brave People into light can bring
5Or hide, at will,--for freedom combating
6By just revenge inflamed? No foot may chase,
7No eye can follow, to a fatal place
8That power, that spirit, whether on the wing
9Like the strong wind, or sleeping like the wind
10Within its awful caves.--From year to year
11Springs this indigenous produce far and near;
12No craft this subtle element can bind,
13Rising like water from the soil, to find
14In every nook a lip that it may cheer.
1] Dated 1811: at this date the Spanish people were maintaining with some success a guerilla warfare against the French army. Back to Line
William Wordsworth, Poems (London: Longman, 1815). PR 5850 E15 (Victoria College Library).
Publication Start Year:
RPO poem Editors:
W. J. Alexander; William Hall Clawson
RP (1912), p. 113; RPO 1997.