Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS      BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD


INSCRIPTIONS

SUPPOSED TO BE FOUND IN AND NEAR A HERMIT'S CELL, 1818

I

          HOPES what are they?--Beads of morning
          Strung on slender blades of grass;
          Or a spider's web adorning
          In a strait and treacherous pass.

          What are fears but voices airy?
          Whispering harm where harm is not;
          And deluding the unwary
          Till the fatal bolt is shot!

          What is glory?--in the socket
          See how dying tapers fare!                                  10
          What is pride?--a whizzing rocket
          That would emulate a star.

          What is friendship?--do not trust her,
          Nor the vows which she has made;
          Diamonds dart their brightest lustre
          From a palsy-shaken head.

          What is truth?--a staff rejected;
          Duty?--an unwelcome clog;
          Joy?--a moon by fits reflected
          In a swamp or watery bog;                                   20

          Bright, as if through ether steering,
          To the Traveller's eye it shone:
          He hath hailed it re-appearing--
          And as quickly it is gone;

          Such is Joy--as quickly hidden,
          Or mis-shapen to the sight,
          And by sullen weeds forbidden
          To resume its native light.

          What is youth?--a dancing billow,
          (Winds behind, and rocks before!)                           30
          Age?--a drooping, tottering willow
          On a flat and lazy shore.

          What is peace?--when pain is over,
          And love ceases to rebel,
          Let the last faint sigh discover
          That precedes the passing knell!


CONTENTS      BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD


  PREVIOUS NEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors