Sonnet: It is Not To Be Thought Of - Summary

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It is not to be thought of that the Flood
Of British freedom, which to the open sea
Of the world’s praise, from dark antiquity
Hath flowed, with pomp of waters, unwithstood,’
Roused though it be full often to a mood
Which spurns the check of salutary bands,
That this most famous Stream in bogs and sands
Should perish; and to evil and to good

Be lost for ever. In our halls is hung
Armoury of the invincible Knights of old:
We must be free or die, who speak the tongue
That Shakespeare spake; the faith and morals hold
Which Milton held.—In every thing we are sprung
Of Earth’s first blood, have titles manifold.


      The Sonnet It is Not To Be Thought Of, asserts the immovable faith with which true freedom is ever believed in by those to whom it has come as an inheritance from a heroic past, and as the natural reward of Christian virtue, self-respect, and self-restraint. Wordsworth calls on his countrymen to remember the great men of the past who taught us how rightfully a nation shone in splendor to be worthy of speaking the tongue.

That Shakespeare spoke, the faith and morals hold,
Which Milton held.

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