Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IN SERIES, 1821-22.

XXXVII. PAPAL ABUSES

          As with the Stream our voyage we pursue,
          The gross materials of this world present
          A marvellous study of wild accident;
          Uncouth proximities of old and new;
          And bold transfigurations, more untrue
          (As might be deemed) to disciplined intent
          Than aught the sky's fantastic element,
          When most fantastic, offers to the view.
          Saw we not Henry scourged at Becket's shrine?
          Lo! John self-stripped of his insignia:--crown,             10
          Sceptre and mantle, sword and ring, laid down
          At a proud Legate's feet! The spears that line
          Baronial halls, the opprobrious insult feel;
          And angry Ocean roars a vain appeal.


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