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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

"WHEN SEVERN'S SWEEPING FLOOD HAD OVERTHROWN"

WHEN Severn's sweeping flood had overthrown
St. Mary's Church, the preacher then would cry:--
"Thus, Christian people, God his might hath shown
That ye to him your love may testify;
Haste, and rebuild the pile."--But not a stone
Resumed its place. Age after age went by,
And Heaven still lacked its due, though piety
In secret did, we trust, her loss bemoan.
But now her Spirit hath put forth its claim
In Power, and Poesy would lend her voice;
Let the new Church be worthy of its aim,
That in its beauty Cardiff may rejoice!
Oh! in the past if cause there was for shame,
Let not our times halt in their better choice.


RYDAL MOUNT,
Jan. 23, 1842.