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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

XXIX

DANISH CONQUESTS

WOE to the Crown that doth the Cowl obey!
Dissension, checking arms that would restrain
The incessant Rovers of the northern main,
Helps to restore and spread a Pagan sway:
But Gospel-truth is potent to allay
Fierceness and rage; and soon the cruel Dane
Feels, through the influence of her gentle reign,
His native superstitions melt away.
Thus, often, when thick gloom the east o'ershrouds,
The full-orbed Moon, slow-climbing, doth appear
Silently to consume the heavy clouds;
'How' no one can resolve; but every eye
Around her sees, while air is hushed, a clear
And widening circuit of ethereal sky.

NOTE

1 'Woe to the Crown that doth the Cowl obey!'

The violent measures carried on under the influence of 'Dunstan',
for strengthening the Benedictine Order, were a leading cause of
the second series of Danish invasions.--'See Turner'.