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A Poet's Epitaph Analysis



Author: Poetry of William Wordsworth Type: Poetry Views: 722

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Art thou a Statist in the van

Of public conflicts trained and bred?

--First learn to love one living man;

'Then' may'st thou think upon the dead.



A Lawyer art thou?--draw not nigh!

Go, carry to some fitter place

The keenness of that practised eye,

The hardness of that sallow face.



Art thou a Man of purple cheer?

A rosy Man, right plump to see?

Approach; yet, Doctor, not too near,

This grave no cushion is for thee.



Or art thou one of gallant pride,

A Soldier and no man of chaff?

Welcome!--but lay thy sword aside,

And lean upon a peasant's staff.



Physician art thou? one, all eyes,

Philosopher! a fingering slave,

One that would peep and botanise

Upon his mother's grave?



Wrapt closely in thy sensual fleece,

O turn aside,--and take, I pray,

That he below may rest in peace,

Thy ever-dwindling soul, away!



A Moralist perchance appears;

Led, Heaven knows how! to this poor sod:

And he has neither eyes nor ears;

Himself his world, and his own God;



One to whose smooth-rubbed soul can cling

Nor form, nor feeling, great or small;

A reasoning, self-sufficing thing,

An intellectual All-in-all!



Shut close the door; press down the latch;

Sleep in thy intellectual crust;

Nor lose ten tickings of thy watch

Near this unprofitable dust.



But who is He, with modest looks,

And clad in homely russet brown?

He murmurs near the running brooks

A music sweeter than their own.



He is retired as noontide dew,

Or fountain in a noon-day grove;

And you must love him, ere to you

He will seem worthy of your love.



The outward shows of sky and earth,

Of hill and valley, he has viewed;

And impulses of deeper birth

Have come to him in solitude.



In common things that round us lie

Some random truths he can impart,--

The harvest of a quiet eye

That broods and sleeps on his own heart.



But he is weak; both Man and Boy,

Hath been an idler in the land;

Contented if he might enjoy

The things which others understand.



--Come hither in thy hour of strength;

Come, weak as is a breaking wave!

Here stretch thy body at full length;

Or build thy house upon this grave.





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