"One That Would Peep And Botanize Upon His Mother's Grave"
Context: In his "Essay on Epitaphs" Wordsworth commented that "the writer of an epitaph is not an anatomist, who dissects the internal frame of the mind; he is not even a painter, who executes a portrait at leisure and in entire tranquillity: his delineation . . . is performed by the side of the grave; and, what is more, the grave of one whom he loves and admires." In "A Poet's Epitaph" Wordsworth rejects as epitaphists a Statist, experienced in public conflicts but without love for the individual man; a Lawyer, with "practised eye" and hard face; a fat Gourmand ("This grave no cushion is for thee"); a Soldier–unless he will "lay thy sword aside"; an anatomizing Physician; and a self-worshiping Moralist. But he welcomes the Poet "clad in russet brown," one who sees "In common things that round us lie/ Some random truths he can impart,–/ The harvest of a quiet eye/ That broods and sleeps on his own heart." Such a man may write a proper epitaph. Wordsworth's scornful rejection of the Physician appears in Stanza 5:
Physician art thou?–one, all eyes,Philosopher!–a fingering slave,One that would peep and botanizeUpon his mother's grave?