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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

XL

CONTINUED

MINE ear has rung, my spirit sunk subdued,
Sharing the strong emotion of the crowd,
When each pale brow to dread hosannas bowed
While clouds of incense mounting veiled the rood,
That glimmered like a pine-tree dimly viewed
Through Alpine vapours. Such appalling rite
Our Church prepares not, trusting to the might
Of simple truth with grace divine imbued;
Yet will we not conceal the precious Cross,
Like men ashamed: the Sun with his first smile
Shall greet that symbol crowning the low Pile:
And the fresh air of incense-breathing morn
Shall wooingly embrace it; and green moss
Creep round its arms through centuries unborn.

NOTE

10 'Yet will we not conceal the precious Cross,
Like men ashamed.'

The Lutherans have retained the Cross within their churches: it
is to be regretted that we have not done the same.