Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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A PLEA FOR AUTHORS, MAY 1838

          FAILING impartial measure to dispense
          To every suitor, Equity is lame;
          And social Justice, stript of reverence
          For natural rights, a mockery and a shame;
          Law but a servile dupe of false pretence,
          If, guarding grossest things from common claim
          Now and for ever, She, to works that came
          From mind and spirit, grudge a short-lived fence.
          "What! lengthened privilege, a lineal tie,
          For 'Books'!" Yes, heartless Ones, or be it proved          10
          That 'tis a fault in Us to have lived and loved
          Like others, with like temporal hopes to die;
          No public harm that Genius from her course
          Be turned; and streams of truth dried up, even at their 
              source!


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