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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

XV

PAULINUS

BUT, to remote Northumbria's royal Hall,
Where thoughtful Edwin, tutored in the school
Of sorrow, still maintains a heathen rule,
'Who' comes with functions apostolical?
Mark him, of shoulders curved, and stature tall,
Black hair, and vivid eye, and meagre cheek,
His prominent feature like an eagle's beak;
A Man whose aspect doth at once appal
And strike with reverence. The Monarch leans
Toward the pure truths this Delegate propounds
Repeatedly his own deep mind he sounds
With careful hesitation,--then convenes
A synod of his Councillors:--give ear,
And what a pensive Sage doth utter, hear!

NOTE

Title: The person of Paulinus is thus described by Bede, from the
memory of an eye-witness:--"Longae staturae, paululum incurvus,
nigro capillo, facie macilenta, naso adunco, pertenui, venerabilis
simul et terribilis aspectu."