Filial Piety

William Wordsworth

On the Wayside between Preston and Liverpool


UNTOUCHED through all severity of cold;

Inviolate, whate’er the cottage hearth

Might need for comfort or for festal mirth;

That pile of turf is half a century old:

Yes, traveller! fifty winters have been told

Since suddenly the dart of death went forth

’Gainst him who raised it,—his last work on earth:

Thence has it, with the son, so strong a hold

Upon his father’s memory, that his hands,

Through reverence, touch it only to repair

Its waste. Though crumbling with each breath of air,

In annual renovation thus it stands,—

Rude mausoleum! but wrens nestle there,

And redbreasts warble when sweet sounds are rare.


Main Location:

Preston, Lancashire, UK