Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IN SERIES, 1821-22.

VI. PERSECUTION

          LAMENT! for Diocletian's fiery sword
          Works busy as the lightning; but instinct
          With malice ne'er to deadliest weapon linked
          Which God's ethereal store-houses afford:
          Against the Followers of the incarnate Lord
          It rages; some are smitten in the field--
          Some pierced to the heart through the ineffectual shield
          Of sacred home;--with pomp are others gored
          And dreadful respite. Thus was Alban tried,
          England's first Martyr, whom no threats could shake;        10
          Self-offered victim, for his friend he died,
          And for the faith; nor shall his name forsake
          That Hill, whose flowery platform seems to rise
          By Nature decked for holiest sacrifice.


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