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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

XVIII

CORRUPTIONS OF THE HIGHER CLERGY

"WOE to you, Prelates! rioting in ease
"And cumbrous wealth--the shame of your estate;
"You, on whose progress dazzling trains await
"Of pompous horses; whom vain titles please;
"Who will be served by others on their knees,
"Yet will yourselves to God no service pay;
"Pastors who neither take nor point the way
"To Heaven; for, either lost in vanities
"Ye have no skill to teach, or if ye know
"And speak the word----" Alas! of fearful things
'Tis the most fearful when the people's eye
Abuse hath cleared from vain imaginings;
And taught the general voice to prophesy
Of Justice armed, and Pride to be laid low.