William Wordsworth

Cumberland / England
William Wordsworth
Cumberland / England
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A Poet's Epitaph

Rating: 3.0
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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COMMENTS
Mahtab Bangalee 05 August 2020
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; ........greatest poetic Epitaph..........superb and fantastic poem penned
0 0 Reply
Deepak Kumar Pattanayak 05 August 2020
Outstanding piece by master poet narrates the concerns of readers of the epitaph and overlooks to emphasize the concerns of the person lamented.....brilliant piece indeed 10+++
0 0 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 05 August 2020
" Heaven knows how! " Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
0 0 Reply
Late October 05 August 2020
Steven Fitzsimmons, I believe you.
0 0 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 05 August 2020
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! poetic expertise. tony
0 0 Reply
Ramesh T A 05 August 2020
A perfect verse composed on various characters of men by the Nature Poet is interesting and surprising to read here! Thanks for sharing!
0 0 Reply
oioioioioioioioioi 06 May 2020
pooop poopp poopp poppp
1 1 Reply
Thoreau introduced me to Wordsworth [in his essay 'On the Duty of Resistance to Civil Gov't]. I strive to be this poem personified.
1 2 Reply
Crystal Star 01 April 2014
Go, carry to some fitter place The keenness of that practised eye, The hardness of that sallow face. 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 Lovely [3
3 3 Reply
* Sunprincess * 01 February 2014
......a beautiful rhyming poem...
2 3 Reply

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