James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

December 30


By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

  • Wicliffe was a celebrated English religious reformer, called “The Morning Star of the Reformation.” He died on Dec. 31, 1384.

  • ONCE more the Church is seized with sudden fear,

    And at her call is Wicliffe disinhumed:

    Yea, his dry bones to ashes are consumed

    And flung into the brook that travels near;

    Forthwith, that ancient Voice which Streams can hear

    Thus speaks (that Voice which walks upon the wind,

    Though seldom heard by busy human kind)—

    “As thou these ashes, little Brook! wilt bear

    “Into the Avon, Avon to the tide

    “Of Severn, Severn to the narrow seas,

    “Into main Ocean they, this deed accurst

    “An emblem yields to friends and enemies

    “How the bold Teacher’s Doctrine, sanctified

    “By truth, shall spread, throughout the world dispersed.”