Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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"EMPERORS AND KINGS, HOW OFT HAVE TEMPLES RUNG"

          EMPERORS and Kings, how oft have temples rung
          With impious thanksgiving, the Almighty's scorn!
          How oft above their altars have been hung
          Trophies that led the good and wise to mourn
          Triumphant wrong, battle of battle born,
          And sorrow that to fruitless sorrow clung!
          Now, from Heaven-sanctioned victory, Peace is sprung;
          In this firm hour Salvation lifts her horn.
          Glory to arms! But, conscious that the nerve
          Of popular reason, long mistrusted, freed                   10
          Your thrones, ye Powers, from duty fear to swerve!
          Be just, be grateful; nor, the oppressor's creed
          Reviving, heavier chastisement deserve
          Than ever forced unpitied hearts to bleed.
                                                              1816.


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