Near Dover, September, 1802
by William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
Inland, within a hollow vale, I stood;
And saw, while sea was calm and air was clear,
The coast of France–the coast of France how near!
Drawn almost into frightful neighbourhood.
I shrunk; for verily the barrier flood
Was like a lake, or river bright and fair,
A span of waters; yet what power is there!
What mightiness for evil and for good!
Even so doth God protect us if we be
Virtuous and wise. Winds blow, and waters roll,
Strength to the brave, and Power, and Deity;
Yet in themselves are nothing! One decree
Spake laws to ‛them’, and said that by the soul
Only, the Nations shall be great and free.