October 1803

By William Wordsworth

These times strike monied world lings with dismay:

  Even rich men, brave by nature, taint the air

  With words of apprehension and despair:

  While tens of thousands, thinking on the affray,

  Men unto whom sufficient for the day

  And minds not stinted or untilled are given,

  Sound, healthy, children of the God of heaven,

  Are cheerful as the rising sun in May.

  What do we gather hence but firmer faith?

 That every gift of noble origin

 Is breathed upon by Hope’s perpetual breath;

 That virtue and the faculties within

 Are vital, –and that riches are akin

 To fear, to change, to cowardice, and death?

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