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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

III

CHARLES THE SECOND

WHO comes--with rapture greeted, and caressed
With frantic love--his kingdom to regain?
Him Virtue's Nurse, Adversity, in vain
Received, and fostered in her iron breast:
For all she taught of hardiest and of best,
Or would have taught, by discipline of pain
And long privation, now dissolves amain,
Or is remembered only to give zest
To wantonness.--Away, Circean revels!
But for what gain? if England soon must sink
Into a gulf which all distinction levels--
That bigotry may swallow the good name,
And, with that draught, the life-blood: misery, shame,
By Poets loathed; from which Historians shrink!