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

XXIII. AMONG THE RUINS OF A CONVENT IN THE APENNINES

          YE Trees! whose slender roots entwine
            Altars that piety neglects;
          Whose infant arms enclasp the shrine
            Which no devotion now respects;
          If not a straggler from the herd
          Here ruminate, nor shrouded bird,
          Chanting her low-voiced hymn, take pride
          In aught that ye would grace or hide--
          How sadly is your love misplaced,
          Fair Trees, your bounty run to waste!                       10

          Ye, too, wild Flowers! that no one heeds,
          And ye--full often spurned as weeds--
          In beauty clothed, or breathing sweetness
          From fractured arch and mouldering wall--
          Do but more touchingly recall
          Man's headstrong violence and Time's fleetness,
          Making the precincts ye adorn
          Appear to sight still more forlorn.


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