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London, 1802

London, 1802

by William Wordsworth

Morality and Ethics Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters (1-2)

This is pretty clear: any comparison to a swampland full of fetid, gross water is never a good thing. England is in a foul state of moral corruption, according to Wordsworth.

Quote #2

We are selfish men;
Oh! Raise us up, return to us again;
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power. (6-8)

Hmm…very interesting. The fact that Wordsworth lumps "manners, virtue, freedom, and power" together indicates the relationship between morality and success – a healthy nation achieves things like "freedom and power" through being kind and virtuous.

Quote #3

Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart (9)

…dwelt apart in a better place, that is. Milton's moral superiority set him apart from the rest of the flawed mass of humanity.

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