Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IN SERIES, 1821-22. PART II.

XII. THE VAUDOIS

          BUT whence came they who for the Saviour Lord
          Have long borne witness as the Scriptures teach?--
          Ages ere Valdo raised his voice to preach
          In Gallic ears the unadulterate Word,
          Their fugitive Progenitors explored
          Subalpine vales, in quest of safe retreats
          Where that pure Church survives, though summer heats
          Open a passage to the Romish sword,
          Far as it dares to follow. Herbs self-sown,
          And fruitage gathered from the chestnut wood,               10
          Nourish the sufferers then; and mists, that brood
          O'er chasms with new-fallen obstacles bestrown,
          Protect them; and the eternal snow that daunts
          Aliens, is God's good winter for their haunts.


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