William Wordsworth, Ecclesiastical Sketches (1822).
2And sink from high to low, along a scale
3Of awful notes, whose concord shall not fail;
4A musical but melancholy chime,
5Which they can hear who meddle not with crime,
6Nor avarice, nor over-anxious care.
7Truth fails not; but her outward forms that bear
8The longest date do melt like frosty rime,
9That in the morning whitened hill and plain
10And is no more; drop like the tower sublime
11Of yesterday, which royally did wear
12His crown of weeds, but could not even sustain
13Some casual shout that broke the silent air,
14Or the unimaginable touch of Time.
1] This is from a series of 132 sonnets mostly written in 1821. "It struck me that certain points in the Ecclesiastical History of our Country might advantageously be presented to view in verse. Accordingly, I took up the subject, and what I now offer to the reader was the result" (Wordsworth, with reference to the whole series). In later editions these poems were known as Ecclesiastical Sonnets. Back to Line
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RPO poem Editors:
J. R. MacGillivray