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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

XXVI

ALFRED

BEHOLD a pupil of the monkish gown,
The pious ALFRED, King to Justice dear!
Lord of the harp and liberating spear;
Mirror of Princes! Indigent Renown
Might range the starry ether for a crown
Equal to 'his' deserts, who, like the year,
Pours forth his bounty, like the day doth cheer,
And awes like night with mercy-tempered frown.
Ease from this noble miser of his time
No moment steals; pain narrows not his cares.
Though small his kingdom as a spark or gem,
Of Alfred boasts remote Jerusalem,
And Christian India, through her widespread clime,
In sacred converse gifts with Alfred shares.

NOTE

10 ------ 'pain narrows not his cares.'

Through the whole of his life, Alfred was subject to grievous
maladies.