Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IN SERIES, 1821-22. PART III.

XXXVI. EMIGRANT FRENCH CLERGY

          EVEN while I speak, the sacred roofs of France
          Are shattered into dust; and self-exiled
          From altars threatened, levelled, or defiled,
          Wander the Ministers of God, as chance
          Opens a way for life, or consonance
          Of faith invites. More welcome to no land
          The fugitives than to the British strand,
          Where priest and layman with the vigilance
          Of true compassion greet them. Creed and test
          Vanish before the unreserved embrace                        10
          Of catholic humanity:--distrest
          They came,--and, while the moral tempest roars
          Throughout the Country they have left, our shores
          Give to their Faith a fearless resting-place.


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