Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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MEMORIALS OF A TOUR ON THE CONTINENT, 1820

XXVIII. THE COLUMN INTENDED BY BUONAPARTE FOR A TRIUMPHAL EDIFICE IN MILAN, NOW LYING BY THE WAY-SIDE IN THE SIMPLON PASS

          AMBITION--following down this far-famed slope
          Her Pioneer, the snow-dissolving Sun,
          While clarions prate of kingdoms to be won--
          Perchance, in future ages, here may stop;
          Taught to mistrust her flattering horoscope
          By admonition from this prostrate Stone!
          Memento uninscribed of Pride o'erthrown;
          Vanity's hieroglyphic; a choice trope
          In Fortune's rhetoric. Daughter of the Rock,
          Rest where thy course was stayed by Power divine!           10
          The Soul transported sees, from hint of thine,
          Crimes which the great Avenger's hand provoke,
          Hears combats whistling o'er the ensanguined heath:
          What groans! what shrieks! what quietness in death.


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