Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IN SERIES, 1821-22. PART II.

XXXV. CRANMER

          OUTSTRETCHING flameward his upbraided hand
          (O God of mercy, may no earthly Seat
          Of judgment such presumptuous doom repeat!)
          Amid the shuddering throng doth Cranmer stand;
          Firm as the stake to which with iron band
          His frame is tied; firm from the naked feet
          To the bare head. The victory is complete;
          The shrouded Body to the Soul's command
          Answers with more than Indian fortitude,
          Through all her nerves with finer sense endued,             10
          Till breath departs in blissful aspiration:
          Then, 'mid the ghastly ruins of the fire,
          Behold the unalterable heart entire,
          Emblem of faith untouched, miraculous attestation!


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