To Toussaint Louverture - poem by Wordsworth

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The sonnet, To Toussaint Louverture by british poet William Wordsworth (April 7, 1770 Cockermouth, Cumberland – April 13, 1850) gives an example of how closely Toussaint Louverture's actions and later imprisonment by the French, were followed around the world.


TOUSSAINT, the most unhappy 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.

created 1802, ~August 1-29; published 1803, Morning Post, London, February 2, 1803