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

IV. AT ROME--REGRETS--IN ALLUSION TO NIEBUHR AND OTHER MODERN HISTORIANS

          THOSE old credulities, to nature dear,
          Shall they no longer bloom upon the stock
          Of History, stript naked as a rock
          'Mid a dry desert? What is it we hear?
          The glory of Infant Rome must disappear,
          Her morning splendours vanish, and their place
          Know them no more. If Truth, who veiled her face
          With those bright beams yet hid it not, must steer
          Henceforth a humbler course perplexed and slow;
          One solace yet remains for us who came                      10
          Into this world in days when story lacked
          Severe research, that in our hearts we know
          How, for exciting youth's heroic flame,
          Assent is power, belief the soul of fact.


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