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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

POEMS

COMPOSED OR SUGGESTED DURING A TOUR IN THE SUMMER OF 1833

XXXI

FLOWERS ON THE TOP OF THE PILLARS AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE CAVE

HOPE smiled when your nativity was cast,
Children of Summer! Ye fresh Flowers that brave
What Summer here escapes not, the fierce wave,
And whole artillery of the western blast,
Battering the Temple's front, its long-drawn nave
Smiting, as if each moment were their last.
But ye, bright Flowers on frieze and architrave
Survive, and once again the Pile stands fast:
Calm as the Universe, from specular towers
Of heaven contemplated by Spirits pure
With mute astonishment, it stands sustained
Through every part in symmetry, to endure,
Unhurt, the assault of Time with all his hours,
As the supreme Artificer ordained.

NOTE

14 'Hope smiled when your nativity was cast,
Children of Summer!'

Upon the head of the columns which form the front of the cave rests a body of decomposed basaltic matter, which was richly decorated with that large bright flower, the ox-eyed daisy. I had noticed the same flower growing with profusion among the bold rocks on the western coast of the Isle of Man; making a brilliant contrast with their black and gloomy surfaces.