Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
William Wordsworth. 1770–1850
525. England, 1802
GREAT men have been among us; hands that penn'd 
  And tongues that utter'd wisdom—better none: 
  The later Sidney, Marvel, Harrington, 
Young Vane, and others who call'd Milton friend. 
These moralists could act and comprehend:         5
  They knew how genuine glory was put on; 
  Taught us how rightfully a nation shone 
In splendour: what strength was, that would not bend 
But in magnanimous meekness. France, 'tis strange, 
  Hath brought forth no such souls as we had then.  10
Perpetual emptiness! unceasing change! 
  No single volume paramount, no code, 
  No master spirit, no determined road; 
  But equally a want of books and men! 
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