Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IN SERIES, 1821-22. PART II.

XVI. WARS OF YORK AND LANCASTER

          THUS is the storm abated by the craft
          Of a shrewd Counsellor, eager to protect
          The Church, whose power hath recently been checked,
          Whose monstrous riches threatened. So the shaft
          Of victory mounts high, and blood is quaffed
          In fields that rival Cressy and Poictiers--
          Pride to be washed away by bitter tears!
          For deep as Hell itself, the avenging draught
          Of civil slaughter. Yet, while temporal power
          Is by these shocks exhausted, spiritual truth               10
          Maintains the else endangered gift of life;
          Proceeds from infancy to lusty youth;
          And, under cover of this woeful strife,
          Gathers unblighted strength from hour to hour.


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