Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IN SERIES, 1821-22. PART II.

XLI. DISTRACTIONS

          MEN, who have ceased to reverence, soon defy,
          Their forefathers; lo! sects are formed, and split
          With morbid restlessness;--the ecstatic fit
          Spreads wide; though special mysteries multiply,
          'The Saints must govern', is their common cry;
          And so they labour, deeming Holy Writ
          Disgraced by aught that seems content to sit
          Beneath the roof of settled Modesty.
          The Romanist exults; fresh hope he draws
          From the confusion, craftily incites                        10
          The overweening, personates the mad--
          To heap disgust upon the worthier Cause:
          Totters the Throne; the new-born Church is sad,
          For every wave against her peace unites.


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