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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

XVII

CONVERSION

PROMPT transformation works the novel Lore;
The Council closed, the Priest in full career
Rides forth, an armed man, and hurls a spear
To desecrate the Fane which heretofore
He served in folly. Woden falls, and Thor
Is overturned; the mace, in battle heaved
(So might they dream) till victory was achieved,
Drops, and the God himself is seen no more.
Temple and Altar sink, to hide their shame
Amid oblivious weeds. "O come to me,
Ye heavy laden!" such the inviting voice
Heard near fresh streams; and thousands who rejoice
In the new Rite, the pledge of sanctity,
Shall, by regenerate life, the promise claim.

NOTE

12 -------- 'such the inviting voice
Heard near fresh streams.'

The early propagators of Christianity were accustomed to preach
near rivers, for the convenience of baptism.