Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IN SERIES, 1821-22.

XXX. CANUTE

          A PLEASANT music floats along the Mere,
          From Monks in Ely chanting service high,
          While-as Canute the King is rowing by:
          "My Oarsmen," quoth the mighty King, "draw near,
          "That we the sweet song of the Monks may hear!"
          He listens (all past conquests, and all schemes
          Of future, vanishing like empty dreams)
          Heart-touched, and haply not without a tear.
          The Royal Minstrel, ere the choir is still,
          While his free Barge skims the smooth flood along,          10
          Gives to that rapture an accordant Rhyme.
          O suffering Earth! be thankful: sternest clime
          And rudest age are subject to the thrill
          Of heaven-descended Piety and Song.


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