Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IN SERIES, 1821-22. PART III.

X. OBLIGATIONS OF CIVIL TO RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

          UNGRATEFUL Country, if thou e'er forget
          The sons who for thy civil rights have bled!
          How, like a Roman, Sidney bowed his head,
          And Russel's milder blood the scaffold wet;
          But these had fallen for profitless regret
          Had not thy holy Church her champions bred,
          And claims from other worlds inspirited
          The star of Liberty to rise. Nor yet
          (Grave this within thy heart!) if spiritual things
          Be lost, through apathy, or scorn, or fear,                 10
          Shalt thou thy humbler franchises support,
          However hardly won or justly dear:
          What came from heaven to heaven by nature clings,
          And, if dissevered thence, its course is short.


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