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The Well Read Poem

Apr 5, 2021

Welcome to Season 2 of The Well Read Poem podcast. During this season, our host, classicist and poet Thomas Banks will be reading and interpreting six poems of history. This week's poem is “To Toussaint L’Ouverture” by William Wordsworth. Poem begins at timestamp 7:30.

To Toussaint L’Ouverture

by William Wordsworth

Toussaint, the most unhappy Man of Men!

Whether the whistling Rustic tend his plough

Within thy hearing, or thy head be now

Pillowed in some deep dungeon's earless den; -

O miserable Chieftain! where and when

Wilt thou find patience? Yet die not; do thou

Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow:

Though fallen Thyself, never to rise again,

Live, and take comfort. Thou hast left behind

Powers that will work for thee; air, earth, and skies;

There's not a breathing of the common wind

That will forget thee; thou hast great allies;

Thy friends are exultations, agonies,

And love, and Man's unconquerable mind.