In the software at Wikisource it not possible to have paragraphs (by inserting empty lines) in references similar to the normal text. See: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/User:Aschroet/test. In the normal HTML view the empty lines are just ignored and only one text block is shown. Even more interesting is the behavior in case when the text is exported by "Download as PDF". There, the paragraphs are created but not in a correct way.
The usage of <nowiki><p></nowiki> helps for the HTML view but not for PDF. The usage if <nowiki><br /></nowiki> works but does not generate real paragraphs but only newline in HTML and PDF.