Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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FILIAL PIETY

ON THE WAYSIDE BETWEEN PRESTON AND LIVERPOOL

          UNTOUCHED through all severity of cold;
          Inviolate, whate'er the cottage hearth
          Might need for comfort, or for festal mirth;
          That Pile of Turf is half a century old:
          Yes, Traveller! fifty winters have been told
          Since suddenly the dart of death went forth
          'Gainst him who raised it,--his last work on earth:
          Thence has it, with the Son, so strong a hold
          Upon his Father's memory, that his hands,
          Through reverence, touch it only to repair                  10
          Its waste.--Though crumbling with each breath of air,
          In annual renovation thus it stands--
          Rude Mausoleum! but wrens nestle there,
          And red-breasts warble when sweet sounds are rare.
                                                              1832.


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