Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
June 5
Sacheverel
By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
 
          Henry Sacheverel, who died on June 5th, 1724, was a High Church divine and Tory politician. He preached two sermons criticising the Whig ministry for which he was prosecuted by Godolphin and suspended from preaching for three years. Public feeling ran high in his favor causing riots in the streets of London at the time of his trial.

A SUDDEN conflict rises from the swell
Of a proud slavery met by tenets strained
In Liberty’s behalf. Fears, true or feigned,
Spread through all ranks; and lo! the Sentinel
Who loudest rang his pulpit ’larum bell,        5
Stands at the Bar, absolved by female eyes
Mingling their glances with grave flatteries
Lavished on Him—that England may rebel
Against her ancient virtue. High and Low,
Watchwords of Party, on all tongues are rife;        10
As if a Church, though sprung from heaven, must owe
To opposites and fierce extremes her life—
Not to the golden mean, and quiet flow
Of truths that soften hatred, temper strife.
 
 
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