Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IN SERIES, 1821-22. PART II.

XXXVI. GENERAL VIEW OF THE TROUBLES OF THE REFORMATION

          AID, glorious Martyrs, from your fields of light,
          Our mortal ken! Inspire a perfect trust
          (While we look round) that Heaven's decrees are just:
          Which few can hold committed to a fight
          That shows, ev'n on its better side, the might
          Of proud Self-will, Rapacity, and Lust,
          'Mid clouds enveloped of polemic dust,
          Which showers of blood seem rather to incite
          Than to allay. Anathemas are hurled
          From both sides; veteran thunders (the brute test           10
          Of truth) are met by fulminations new--
          Tartarean flags are caught at, and unfurled--
          Friends strike at friends--the flying shall pursue--
          And Victory sickens, ignorant where to rest!


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