Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IN SERIES, 1821-22. PART III.

VII. PERSECUTION OF THE SCOTTISH COVENANTERS

          WHEN Alpine Vales threw forth a suppliant cry,
          The Majesty of England interposed
          And the sword stopped; the bleeding wounds were closed;
          And Faith preserved her ancient purity.
          How little boots that precedent of good,
          Scorned or forgotten, Thou canst testify,
          For England's shame, O Sister Realm! from wood,
          Mountain, and moor, and crowded street, where lie
          The headless martyrs of the Covenant,
          Slain by Compatriot-protestants that draw                   10
          From councils senseless as intolerant
          Their warrant. Bodies fall by wild sword-law;
          But who would force the Soul, tilts with a straw
          Against a Champion cased in adamant.


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