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

XX. BEFORE THE PICTURE OF THE BAPTIST, BY RAPHAEL, IN THE GALLERY AT FLORENCE

          THE Baptist might have been ordained to cry
          Forth from the towers of that huge Pile, wherein
          His Father served Jehovah; but how win
          Due audience, how for aught but scorn defy
          The obstinate pride and wanton revelry
          Of the Jerusalem below, her sin
          And folly, if they with united din
          Drown not at once mandate and prophecy?
          Therefore the Voice spake from the Desert, thence
          To Her, as to her opposite in peace,                        10
          Silence, and holiness, and innocence,
          To Her and to all Lands its warning sent,
          Crying with earnestness that might not cease,
          "Make straight a highway for the Lord--repent!"


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