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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

III

CISTERTIAN MONASTERY

"HERE Man more purely lives, less oft doth fall,
"More promptly rises, walks with stricter heed,
"More safely rests, dies happier, is freed
"Earlier from cleansing fires, and gains withal
"A brighter crown."--On yon Cistertian wall
'That' confident assurance may be read;
And, to like shelter, from the world have fled
Increasing multitudes. The potent call
Doubtless shall cheat full oft the heart's desires;
Yet, while the rugged Age on pliant knee
Vows to rapt Fancy humble fealty,
A gentler life spreads round the holy spires;
Where'er they rise, the sylvan waste retires,
And aery harvests crown the fertile lea.

NOTE

5 'Here Man more purely lives,' etc.

"Bonum est nos hic esse, quia homo vivit purius, cadit rarius,
surgit velocius, incedit cautius, quiescit securius, moritur
felicius, purgatur citius, praemiatur copiosius."--Bernard. "This
sentence," says Dr. Whitaker, "is usually inscribed in some
conspicuous part of the Cistertian houses."