Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IN SERIES, 1821-22. PART II.

XXVI. APOLOGY

          NOT utterly unworthy to endure
          Was the supremacy of crafty Rome;
          Age after age to the arch of Christendom
          Aerial keystone haughtily secure;
          Supremacy from Heaven transmitted pure,
          As many hold; and, therefore, to the tomb
          Pass, some through fire--and by the scaffold some--
          Like saintly Fisher, and unbending More.
          "Lightly for both the bosom's lord did sit
          "Upon his throne;" unsoftened, undismayed                   10
          By aught that mingled with the tragic scene
          Of pity or fear: and More's gay genius played
          With the inoffensive sword of native wit,
          Than the bare axe more luminous and keen.


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