Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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EPITAPHS

III

          O THOU who movest onward with a mind
          Intent upon thy way, pause, though in haste!
          'Twill be no fruitless moment. I was born
          Within Savona's walls, of gentle blood.
          On Tiber's banks my youth was dedicate
          To sacred studies; and the Roman Shepherd
          Gave to my charge Urbino's numerous flock.
          Well did I watch, much laboured, nor had power
          To escape from many and strange indignities;
          Was smitten by the great ones of the world,                 10
          But did not fall; for Virtue braves all shocks,
          Upon herself resting immoveably.
          Me did a kindlier fortune then invite
          To serve the glorious Henry, King of France,
          And in his hands I saw a high reward
          Stretched out for my acceptance,--but Death came.
          Now, Reader, learn from this my fate, how false,
          How treacherous to her promise, is the world;
          And trust in God--to whose eternal doom
          Must bend the sceptred Potentates of earth.                 20


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