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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

XXXIX

PAPAL DOMINION

UNLESS to Peter's Chair the viewless wind
Must come and ask permission when to blow,
What further empire would it have? for now
A ghostly Domination, unconfined
As that by dreaming Bards to Love assigned,
Sits there in sober truth--to raise the low,
Perplex the wise, the strong to overthrow;
Through earth and heaven to bind and to unbind!--
Resist--the thunder quails thee!--crouch--rebuff
Shall be thy recompence! from land to land
The ancient thrones of Christendom are stuff
For occupation of a magic wand,
And 'tis the Pope that wields it:--whether rough
Or smooth his front, our world is in his hand!