Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IN SERIES, 1821-22.

PART II. TO THE CLOSE OF THE TROUBLES IN THE REIGN OF CHARLES I

I

          HOW soon--alas! did Man, created pure--
          By Angels guarded, deviate from the line
          Prescribed to duty:--woeful forfeiture
          He made by wilful breach of law divine.
          With like perverseness did the Church abjure
          Obedience to her Lord, and haste to twine,
          'Mid Heaven-born flowers that shall for aye endure,
          Weeds on whose front the world had fixed her sign.
          O Man,--if with thy trials thus it fares,
          If good can smooth the way to evil choice,                  10
          From all rash censure be the mind kept free;
          He only judges right who weighs, compares,
          And in the sternest sentence which his voice
          Pronounces, ne'er abandons Charity.


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