Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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SONNETS

UPON THE PUNISHMENT OF DEATH

IN SERIES, 1839

I. SUGGESTED BY THE VIEW OF LANCASTER CASTLE (ON THE ROAD FROM THE SOUTH)

          THIS Spot--at once unfolding sight so fair
          Of sea and land, with yon grey towers that still
          Rise up as if to lord it over air--
          Might soothe in human breasts the sense of ill,
          Or charm it out of memory; yea, might fill
          The heart with joy and gratitude to God
          For all his bounties upon man bestowed:
          Why bears it then the name of "Weeping Hill"?
          Thousands, as toward yon old Lancastrian Towers,
          A prison's crown, along this way they past                  10
          For lingering durance or quick death with shame,
          From this bare eminence thereon have cast
          Their first look--blinded as tears fell in showers
          Shed on their chains; and hence that doleful name.


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