Verse

ILLUSTRATED BOOKS AND NEWSPAPERS
By William Wordsworth

DISCOURSE was deemed Man’s noblest attribute,
And written words the glory of his hand;
Then followed Printing with enlarged command
For thought–dominion vast and absolute
For spreading truth, and making love expand.
Now prose and verse sunk into disrepute
Must lacquey a dumb Art that best can suit
The taste of this once-intellectual Land.
A backward movement surely have we here,
From manhood,–back to childhood; for the age–
Back towards caverned life’s first rude career.
Avaunt this vile abuse of pictured page!
Must eyes be all in all, the tongue and ear
Nothing? Heaven keep us from a lower stage!

-1846

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