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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

XXXIX

EMINENT REFORMERS

METHINKS that I could trip o'er heaviest soil,
Light as a buoyant bark from wave to wave,
Were mine the trusty staff that JEWEL gave
To youthful HOOKER, in familiar style
The gift exalting, and with playful smile:
For thus equipped, and bearing on his head
The Donor's farewell blessing, can he dread
Tempest, or length of way, or weight of toil?--
More sweet than odours caught by him who sails
Near spicy shores of Araby the blest,
A thousand times more exquisitely sweet,
The freight of holy feeling which we meet,
In thoughtful moments, wafted by the gales
From fields where good men walk, or bowers wherein they rest.

NOTE

5 'The gift exalting, and with playful smile.'

"On foot they went, and took Salisbury in their way, purposely
to see the good Bishop, who made Mr. Hooker sit at his own table;
which Mr. Hooker boasted of with much joy and gratitude when he
saw his mother and friends; and at the Bishop's parting with him,
the Bishop gave him good counsel and his benediction, but forgot
to give him money; which when the Bishop had considered, he sent a
servant in all haste to call Richard back to him, and at Richard's
return, the Bishop said to him, "Richard, I sent for you back to
lend you a horse which hath carried me many a mile, and I thank
God with much ease," and presently delivered into his hand a
walking-staff, with which he professed he had travelled through
many parts of Germany; and he said, "Richard, I do not give, but
lend you my horse; be sure you be honest, and bring my horse back
to me, at your return this way to Oxford. And I do now give you
ten groats to bear your charges to Exeter; and here is ten groats
more, which I charge you to deliver to your mother, and tell her I
send her a Bishop's benediction with it, and beg the continuance
of her prayers for me. And if you bring my horse back to me, I
will give you ten groats more to carry you on foot to the college;
and so God bless you, good Richard."--See "Walton's Life of
Richard Hooker."