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

VIII. NEAR ROME, IN SIGHT OF ST. PETER'S

          LONG has the dew been dried on tree and lawn:
          O'er man and beast a not unwelcome boon
          Is shed, the languor of approaching noon;
          To shady rest withdrawing or withdrawn
          Mute are all creatures, as this couchant fawn,
          Save insect-swarms that hum in air afloat,
          Save that the Cock is crowing, a shrill note,
          Startling and shrill as that which roused the dawn.
          --Heard in that hour, or when, as now, the nerve
          Shrinks from the note as from a mistimed thing,             10
          Oft for a holy warning may it serve,
          Charged with remembrance of 'his' sudden sting,
          His bitter tears, whose name the Papal Chair
          And yon resplendent Church are proud to bear.


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