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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

XXXI

FUNERAL SERVICE

FROM the Baptismal hour, thro' weal and woe,
The Church extends her care to thought and deed;
Nor quits the Body when the Soul is freed,
The mortal weight cast off to be laid low.
Blest Rite for him who hears in faith, "I know
That my Redeemer liveth,"--hears each word
That follows--striking on some kindred chord
Deep in the thankful heart;--yet tears will flow.
Man is as grass that springeth up at morn,
Grows green, and is cut down and withereth
Ere nightfall--truth that well may claim a sigh,
Its natural echo; but hope comes reborn
At Jesu's bidding. We rejoice, "O Death,
Where is thy Sting?--O Grave, where is thy Victory?"