Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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MEMORIALS OF A TOUR IN ITALY, 1837

III. AT ROME

          IS this, ye Gods, the Capitolian Hill?
          Yon petty Steep in truth the fearful Rock,
          Tarpeian named of yore, and keeping still
          That name, a local Phantom proud to mock
          The Traveller's expectation?--Could our Will
          Destroy the ideal Power within, 'twere done
          Thro' what men see and touch,--slaves wandering on,
          Impelled by thirst of all but Heaven-taught skill.
          Full oft, our wish obtained, deeply we sigh;
          Yet not unrecompensed are they who learn,                   10
          From that depression raised, to mount on high
          With stronger wing, more clearly to discern
          Eternal things; and, if need be, defy
          Change, with a brow not insolent, though stern.


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