Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IN SERIES, 1821-22.

XXIV. SAXON MONASTERIES, AND LIGHTS AND SHADES OF THE RELIGION

          BY such examples moved to unbought pains,
          The people work like congregated bees;
          Eager to build the quiet Fortresses
          Where Piety, as they believe, obtains
          From Heaven a 'general' blessing; timely rains
          Or needful sunshine; prosperous enterprise,
          Justice and peace:--bold faith! yet also rise
          The sacred Structures for less doubtful gains.
          The Sensual think with reverence of the palms
          Which the chaste Votaries seek, beyond the grave            10
          If penance be redeemable, thence alms
          Flow to the poor, and freedom to the slave;
          And if full oft the Sanctuary save
          Lives black with guilt, ferocity it calms.


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