Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IN SERIES, 1821-22. PART III.

III. CHARLES THE SECOND

          WHO comes--with rapture greeted, and caressed
          With frantic love--his kingdom to regain?
          Him Virtue's Nurse, Adversity, in vain
          Received, and fostered in her iron breast:
          For all she taught of hardiest and of best,
          Or would have taught, by discipline of pain
          And long privation, now dissolves amain,
          Or is remembered only to give zest
          To wantonness.--Away, Circean revels!
          But for what gain? if England soon must sink                10
          Into a gulf which all distinction levels--
          That bigotry may swallow the good name,
          And, with that draught, the life-blood: misery, shame,
          By Poets loathed; from which Historians shrink!


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