Sonnets - XIV

A poem by James Russell Lowell

ON READING WORDSWORTH'S Sonnets IN DEFENCE OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

As the broad ocean endlessly upheaveth,
With the majestic beating of his heart,
The mighty tides, whereof its rightful part
Each sea-wide bay and little weed receiveth.
So, through his soul who earnestly believeth,
Life from the universal Heart doth flow,
Whereby some conquest of the eternal Woe,
By instinct of God's nature, he achieveth;
A fuller pulse of this all-powerful beauty
Into the poet's gulf-like heart doth tide,
And he more keenly feels the glorious duty
Of serving Truth, despised and crucified,--
Happy, unknowing sect or creed, to rest,
And feel God flow forever through his breast.

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