William Wordsworth

Say, What Is Honour?--'tis The Finest Sense

SAY, what is Honour?--'Tis the finest sense Of 'justice' which the human mind can frame, Intent each lurking frailty to disclaim, And guard the way of life from all offence Suffered or done. When lawless violence Invades a Realm, so pressed that in the scale Of perilous war her weightiest armies fail, Honour is hopeful elevation,--whence Glory, and triumph. Yet with politic skill Endangered States may yield to terms unjust; Stoop their proud heads, but not unto the dust-- A Foe's most favourite purpose to fulfil: Happy occasions oft by self-mistrust Are forfeited; but infamy doth kill.

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