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Poem by William Wordsworth


Roman Antiquities


   From the Roman Station at Old Penrith

HOW profitless the relics that we cull,
Troubling the last holds of ambitious Rome,
Unless they chasten fancies that presume
Too high, or idle agitations lull!
Of the worlds flatteries if the brain be full,
To have no seat for thought were better doom,
Like this old helmet, or the eyeless skull
Of him who gloried in its nodding plume.
Heaven out of view, our wishes what are they?
Our fond regrets tenacious in their grasp?
The sages theory? the poets lay?
Mere fibulæ without a robe to clasp;
Obsolete lamps, whose light no time recalls;
Urns without ashes, tearless lachrymals!



William Wordsworth


William Wordsworth's other poems:
  1. Inscription Intended for a Stone in the Grounds of Rydal Mount
  2. Roman Antiquities Discovered at Bishopstone, Herefordshire
  3. In Sight of the Town of Cockermouth
  4. The Glen of Loch Etive
  5. Remembrance of Collins


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