Memorials Of A Tour On The Continent, 1820 - XXIII. - The Church Of San Salvador

A poem by William Wordsworth

Seen From The Lake Of Lugano


Thou sacred Pile! whose turrets rise
From yon steep mountain's loftiest stage,
Guarded by lone San Salvador;
Sink (if thou must) as heretofore,
To sulphurous bolts a sacrifice,
But ne'er to human rage!

On Horeb's top, on Sinai, deigned
To rest the universal Lord:
Why leap the fountains from their cells
Where everlasting Bounty dwells?
That, while the Creature is sustained,
His God may be adored.

Cliffs, fountains, rivers, seasons, times
Let all remind the soul of heaven;
Our slack devotion needs them all;
And Faith, so oft of sense the thrall,
While she, by aid of Nature, climbs
May hope to be forgiven.

Glory, and patriotic Love,
And all the Pomps of this frail "spot
Which men call Earth," have yearned to seek,
Associate with the simply meek,
Religion in the sainted grove,
And in the hallowed grot.

Thither, in time of adverse shocks,
Of fainting hopes and backward wills,
Did mighty Tell repair of old
A Hero cast in Nature's mould,
Deliverer of the steadfast rocks
And of the ancient hills!

'He', too, of battle-martyrs chief!
Who, to recall his daunted peers,
For victory shaped an open space,
By gathering with a wide embrace,
Into his single breast, a sheaf
Of fatal Austrian spears.

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