Ecclesiastical Sonnets - Part I. - VIII - Temptations From Roman Refinements

A poem by William Wordsworth

Watch, and be firm! for, soul-subduing vice,
Heart-killing luxury, on your steps await.
Fair houses, baths, and banquets delicate,
And temples flashing, bright as polar ice,
Their radiance through the woods, may yet suffice
To sap your hardy virtue, and abate
Your love of Him upon whose forehead sate
The crown of thorns; whose life-blood flowed, the price
Of your redemption. Shun the insidious arts
That Rome provides, less dreading from her frown
Than from her wily praise, her peaceful gown,
Language, and letters; these, though fondly viewed
As humanising graces, are but parts
And instruments of deadliest servitude!

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