It is not to be Thought of

Original Text: 
William Wordsworth, Poetical Works (London: Longman, 1827). B-11 0716 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto) 1-5. Originally in Morning Post (April 16, 1803).
1It is not to be thought of that the Flood
2Of British freedom, which, to the open sea
3Of the world's praise, from dark antiquity
6Which spurns the check of salutary bands,
7That this most famous Stream in bogs and sands
8Should perish; and to evil and to good
9Be lost for ever. In our halls is hung
10Armoury of the invincible Knights of old:
11We must be free or die, who speak the tongue
12That Shakespeare spake; the faith and morals hold
13Which Milton held.--In every thing we are sprung
14Of Earth's first blood, have titles manifold.


4] "with pomp of waters, unwithstood": see Daniel, The Civile Wars, II, vii, 5. Back to Line
5] These lines were first substituted in 1827 for the original version which read:
Roads by which all might come and go that would,
And bear out freights of worth to foreign lands.
It has been plausibly suggested that Wordsworth refers to the disturbances which led to the agitation for Catholic Emancipation and the Reform Bill, to both of which he was opposed. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
J. R. MacGillivray
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.374.