Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS      BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD


SONNETS

UPON THE PUNISHMENT OF DEATH

IN SERIES, 1839

VII

          BEFORE the world had past her time of youth
          While polity and discipline were weak,
          The precept eye for eye, and tooth for tooth,
          Came forth--a light, though but as of daybreak,
          Strong as could then be borne. A Master meek
          Proscribed the spirit fostered by that rule,
          Patience 'his' law, long-suffering 'his' school,
          And love the end, which all through peace must seek.
          But lamentably do they err who strain
          His mandates, given rash impulse to control                 10
          And keep vindictive thirstings from the soul,
          So far that, if consistent in their scheme,
          They must forbid the State to inflict a pain,
          Making of social order a mere dream.


CONTENTS      BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD


  PREVIOUS NEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors