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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

MEMORIALS OF A TOUR IN ITALY

VIII

NEAR ROME, IN SIGHT OF ST. PETER'S

LONG has the dew been dried on tree and lawn:
O'er man and beast a not unwelcome boon
Is shed, the languor of approaching noon;
To shady rest withdrawing or withdrawn
Mute are all creatures, as this couchant fawn,
Save insect-swarms that hum in air afloat,
Save that the Cock is crowing, a shrill note,
Startling and shrill as that which roused the dawn.
--Heard in that hour, or when, as now, the nerve
Shrinks from the note as from a mistimed thing,
Oft for a holy warning may it serve,
Charged with remembrance of 'his' sudden sting,
His bitter tears, whose name the Papal Chair
And yon resplendent Church are proud to bear.