William Wordsworth


On a Celebrated Event in Ancient History


A ROMAN master stands on Grecian ground,

And to the concourse of the Isthmian games

He, by his herald’s voice, aloud proclaims

“The liberty of Greece”; the words rebound

Until all voices in one voice are drowned;

Glad acclamation by which air was rent!

And birds, high flying in the element,

Dropped to the earth, astonished at the sound!

A melancholy echo of that noise

Doth sometimes hang on musing Fancy’s ear;

Ah! that a conqueror’s words should be so dear;

Ah! that a boon should shed such rapturous joys!

A gift of that which is not to be given

By all the blended powers of earth and heaven.

Main Location:

Corinthe, Greece