Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IN SERIES, 1821-22. PART II.

XXVIII. REFLECTIONS

          GRANT, that by this unsparing hurricane
          Green leaves with yellow mixed are torn away,
          And goodly fruitage with the mother spray;
          'Twere madness--wished we, therefore, to detain,
          With hands stretched forth in mollified disdain,
          The "trumpery" that ascends in bare display--
          Bulls, pardons, relics, cowls black, white, and grey--
          Upwhirled, and flying o'er the ethereal plain
          Fast bound for Limbo Lake. And yet not choice
          But habit rules the unreflecting herd,                      10
          And airy bonds are hardest to disown;
          Hence, with the spiritual sovereignty transferred
          Unto itself, the Crown assumes a voice
          Of reckless mastery, hitherto unknown.


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