February 18 1816: Mr. Hunt on Mr. Wordsworth

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“Poetry has often been made the direct vehicle of politics … Milton, besides his political sonnets, took an opportunity in his Paradise Lost of insinuating some lessons to kings, which it might not be amiss to recollect now-a-days … For our parts, we certainly do not pretend to be “meek as dawning day,” nor “assoiled from all the time’s encumbrance”, and so, it seems, we must not pretend to comprehend ‘this victory sublime.’— Leigh Hunt, Examiner, February 18 1816.”

— Leigh Hunt, “Heaven Made a Party to Earthly Disputes—Mr Wordsworth’s Sonnets on Waterloo” (The Examiner, February 18, 1816).

OCCASIONED BY THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO

FEBRUARY 1816.

THE Bard–whose soul is meek as dawning day,
Yet trained to judgments righteously severe,
Fervid, yet conversant with holy fear,
As recognising one Almighty sway:
He–whose experienced eye can pierce the array
Of past events; to whom, in vision clear,
The aspiring heads of future things appear,
Like mountain-tops whose mists have rolled away–
Assoiled from all encumbrance of our time,
He only, if such breathe, in strains devout 10
Shall comprehend this victory sublime;
Shall worthily rehearse the hideous rout,
The triumph hail, which from their peaceful clime
Angels might welcome with a choral shout!

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