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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

XXIII

CONFIRMATION

THE Young-ones gathered in from hill and dale,
With holiday delight on every brow:
'Tis passed away; far other thoughts prevail;
For they are taking the baptismal Vow
Upon their conscious selves; their own lips speak
The solemn promise. Strongest sinews fail,
And many a blooming, many a lovely, cheek
Under the holy fear of God turns pale;
While on each head his lawn-robed Servant lays
An apostolic hand, and with prayer seals
The Covenant. The Omnipotent will raise
Their feeble Souls; and bear with 'his' regrets,
Who, looking round the fair assemblage, feels
That ere the Sun goes down their childhood sets.