Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Italy: Vols. XI–XIII. 1876–79.


The Vaudois

By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

BUT whence came they who for the Saviour Lord

Have long borne witness as the Scriptures teach?

Ages ere Valdo raised his voice to preach

In Gallic ears the unadulterate Word,

Their fugitive progenitors explored

Subalpine vales, in quest of safe retreats,

Where that pure Church survives, though summer heats

Open a passage to the Romish sword

Far as it dares to follow. Herbs self-sown,

And fruitage gathered from the chestnut wood,

Nourish the sufferers then; and mists, that brood

O’er chasms with new-fallen obstacles bestrewn,

Protect them; and the eternal snow that daunts

Aliens is God’s good winter for their haunts.