Yes, Deplorable Indeed!

From William Wordsworth’s Ecclesiastical Sonnets

 

DEPLORABLE his lot who tills the ground,

William Wordsworth by Benjamin Robert Haydon, painting 1842
William Wordsworth by Benjamin Robert Haydon, painting 1842

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!”

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