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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

XXXVIII

NEW CHURCHES

BUT liberty, and triumphs on the Main,
And laurelled armies, not to be withstood--
What serve they? if, on transitory good
Intent, and sedulous of abject gain,
The State (ah, surely not preserved in vain!)
Forbear to shape due channels which the Flood
Of sacred truth may enter--till it brood
O'er the wide realm, as o'er the Egyptian plain
The all-sustaining Nile. No more--the time
Is conscious of her want; through England's bounds,
In rival haste, the wished-for Temples rise!
I hear their sabbath bells' harmonious chime
Float on the breeze--the heavenliest of all sounds
That vale or hill prolongs or multiplies!