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"Duty" is the "stern daughter of the voice of God," because as Wordsworth remarks "it is a light to guide, a rod/To check the erring and reprove."
Darkness is a result of our ignorance which leads us astray and forces us to make mistakes, but 'duty' pricks our conscience and enlightens us to guide us along the right path. "Duty" is a hard taskmaster who prevents us from making mistakes by cautioning us of the dangers ahead and thus correcting us.
Wordsworth himself thanks "duty" for its harsh discipline and adds that because he submitted to its "stern" discipline and correction he has benefitted a great deal and would henceforth willingly submit to its guidance, "but thee I now would serve more strictly, if I may."
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