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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IV

DEPLORABLE his lot who tills the ground,
His whole life long tills it, with heartless toil
Of villain-service, passing with the soil
To each new Master, like a steer or hound,
Or like a rooted tree, or stone earth-bound;
But mark how gladly, through their own domains,
The Monks relax or break these iron chains;
While Mercy, uttering, through their voice, a sound
Echoed in Heaven, cries out, "Ye Chiefs, abate
These legalized oppressions! Man--whose name
And nature God disdained not; Man--whose soul
Christ died for--cannot forfeit his high claim
To live and move exempt from all control
Which fellow-feeling doth not mitigate!"