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Poem by William Wordsworth
Composed at Cora Linn
LORD of the vale! astounding flood; The dullest leaf in this thick wood Quakes, conscious of thy power; The caves reply with hollow moan; And vibrates, to its central stone, Yon time-cemented tower! And yet how fair the rural scene! For thou, O Clyde, hast ever been Beneficent as strong; Pleased in refreshing dews to steep The little, trembling flowers that peep Thy shelving rocks among. Hence all who love their country love To look on thee, delight to rove Where they thy voice can hear; And to the patriot-warrior’s shade, Lord of the vale! to heroes laid In dust, that voice is dear! Along thy banks, at dead of night, Sweeps visibly the Wallace wight; Or stands, in warlike vest, Aloft, beneath the moon’s pale beam, A champion worthy of the stream, Yon gray tower’s living crest! But clouds and envious darkness hide A form not doubtfully descried;— Their transient mission o’er, O, say to what blind region flee These shapes of awful fantasy? To what untrodden shore? Less than divine command they spurn; But this we from the mountains learn, And this the valleys show; That never will they deign to hold Communion where the heart is cold To human weal and woe. The man of abject soul in vain Shall walk the Marathonian plain; Or thrid the shadowy gloom That still invests the guardian Pass, Where stood, sublime, Leonidas Devoted to the tomb. And let no slave his head incline, Or kneel, before the votive shrine By Uri’s lake, where Tell Leapt, from his storm-vext boat, to land, Heaven’s instrument, for by his hand That day the tyrant fell.
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