Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IN SERIES, 1821-22. PART II.

XXI. DISSOLUTION OF THE MONASTERIES

          THREATS come which no submission may assuage,
          No sacrifice avert, no power dispute;
          The tapers shall be quenched, the belfries mute,
          And, 'mid their choirs unroofed by selfish rage,
          The warbling wren shall find a leafy cage;
          The gadding bramble hang her purple fruit;
          And the green lizard and the gilded newt
          Lead unmolested lives, and die of age.
          The owl of evening and the woodland fox
          For their abode the shrines of Waltham choose:              10
          Proud Glastonbury can no more refuse
          To stoop her head before these desperate shocks--
          She whose high pomp displaced, as story tells,
          Arimathean Joseph's wattled cells.


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