Lines On The Expected Invasion, 1803

A poem by William Wordsworth

Come ye who, if (which Heaven avert!) the Land
Were with herself at strife, would take your stand,
Like gallant Falkland, by the Monarch's side,
And, like Montrose, make Loyalty your pride
Come ye who, not less zealous, might display
Banners at enmity with regal sway,
And, like the Pyms and Miltons of that day,
Think that a State would live in sounder health
If Kingship bowed its head to Commonwealth
Ye too whom no discreditable fear
Would keep, perhaps with many a fruitless tear,
Uncertain what to choose and how to steer
And ye who might mistake for sober sense
And wise reserve the plea of indolence
Come ye whate'er your creed, O waken all,
Whate'er your temper, at your Country's call;
Resolving (this a free-born Nation can)
To have one Soul, and perish to a man,
Or save this honoured Land from every Lord
But British reason and the British sword.

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