At Bala-Sala, Isle of Man

William Wordsworth

Supposed to be written by a friend

Broken in fortune, but in mind entire
And sound in principle, I seek repose
Where ancient trees this convent-pile enclose
In ruin beautiful. When vain desire
Intrudes on peace, I pray the Eternal Sire
To cast a soul-subduing shade on me,
A gray-haired, pensive, thankful Refugee;
A shade,—but with some sparks of heavenly fire
Once to these cells vouchsafed. And when I note
The old Tower's brow yellowed as with the beams
Of sunset ever there, albeit streams
Of stormy weather-stains that semblance wrought,
I thank the silent monitor, and say,
"Shine so, my aged brow, at all hours of the day!"

The village of Ballasalla grew up around the Cistercian monastery of Rushen, the "convent-pile" of Wordsworth's poem. The monastery was dissolved in the sixteenth century.