In this installment, Ira Lightman reads “Ecclesiastical Sonnets, IV. Druidical Excommunication” by William Wordsworth. Lightman has been publishing pamphlets with experimental presses for fifteen years. He moved to northeast England in 2000, and has become involved in both private and public art. Ira became interested in Wordsworth upon moving to the northeast (though Wordsworth is from the northwest), which he partly attributes to an improved ear for northern speech. You can visit his links page here.
William Wordsworth, “Ecclesiastical Sonnets, IV. Druidical Excommunication”
MERCY and Love have met thee on thy road,
Thou wretched Outcast, from the gift of fire
And food cut off by sacerdotal ire,
From every sympathy that Man bestowed!
Yet shall it claim our reverence, that to God,
Ancient of days! that to the eternal Sire,
These jealous Ministers of law aspire,
As to the one sole fount whence wisdom flowed,
Justice, and order. Tremblingly escaped,
As if with prescience of the coming storm,
‘That’ intimation when the stars were shaped;
And still, ‘mid yon thick woods, the primal truth
Glimmers through many a superstitious form
That fills the Soul with unavailing ruth.