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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

XIII

ASPECTS OF CHRISTIANITY IN AMERICA

I. THE PILGRIM FATHERS

WELL worthy to be magnified are they
Who, with sad hearts, of friends and country took
A last farewell, their loved abodes forsook,
And hallowed ground in which their fathers lay;
Then to the new-found World explored their way,
That so a Church, unforced, uncalled to brook
Ritual restraints, within some sheltering nook
Her Lord might worship and his word obey
In freedom. Men they were who could not bend;
Blest Pilgrims, surely, as they took for guide
A will by sovereign Conscience sanctified;
Blest while their Spirits from the woods ascend
Along a Galaxy that knows no end,
But in His glory who for Sinners died.

NOTE

Title: This and the two following were added in 1842.

'The Pilgrim Fathers.'

American episcopacy, in union with the church in England,
strictly belongs to the general subject; and I here make my
acknowledgments to my American friends Bishop Doane, and Mr. Henry
Reed of Philadelphia, for having suggested to me the propriety of
adverting to it, and pointed out the virtues and intellectual
qualities of Bishop White, which so eminently fitted him for the
great work he undertook. Bishop White was consecrated at Lambeth,
Feb. 4, 1787, by Archbishop Moore; and before his long life was
closed, twenty-six bishops had been consecrated in America by
himself. For his character and opinions, see his own numerous
works, and a "Sermon in commemoration of him, by George Washington
Doane, Bishop of New Jersey."