Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IN SERIES, 1821-22.

VIII. TEMPTATIONS FROM ROMAN REFINEMENTS

          WATCH, and be firm! for, soul-subduing vice,
          Heart-killing luxury, on your steps await.
          Fair houses, baths, and banquets delicate,
          And temples flashing, bright as polar ice,
          Their radiance through the woods--may yet suffice
          To sap your hardy virtue, and abate
          Your love of Him upon whose forehead sate
          The crown of thorns; whose life-blood flowed, the price
          Of your redemption. Shun the insidious arts
          That Rome provides, less dreading from her frown            10
          Than from her wily praise, her peaceful gown,
          Language, and letters;--these, though fondly viewed
          As humanising graces, are but parts
          And instruments of deadliest servitude!


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