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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

XXVI

APOLOGY

NOT utterly unworthy to endure
Was the supremacy of crafty Rome;
Age after age to the arch of Christendom
Aerial keystone haughtily secure;
Supremacy from Heaven transmitted pure,
As many hold; and, therefore, to the tomb
Pass, some through fire--and by the scaffold some--
Like saintly Fisher, and unbending More.
"Lightly for both the bosom's lord did sit
"Upon his throne;" unsoftened, undismayed
By aught that mingled with the tragic scene
Of pity or fear: and More's gay genius played
With the inoffensive sword of native wit,
Than the bare axe more luminous and keen.