Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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TO --------

ON HER FIRST ASCENT TO THE SUMMIT OF HELVELLYN

          INMATE of a mountain-dwelling,
          Thou hast clomb aloft, and gazed
          From the watch-towers of Helvellyn;
          Awed, delighted, and amazed!

          Potent was the spell that bound thee
          Not unwilling to obey;
          For blue Ether's arms, flung round thee,
          Stilled the pantings of dismay.

          Lo! the dwindled woods and meadows;
          What a vast abyss is there!                                 10
          Lo! the clouds, the solemn shadows,
          And the glistenings--heavenly fair!

          And a record of commotion
          Which a thousand ridges yield;
          Ridge, and gulf, and distant ocean
          Gleaming like a silver shield!

          Maiden! now take flight;--inherit
          Alps or Andes--they are thine!
          With the morning's roseate Spirit,
          Sweep their length of snowy line;                           20

          Or survey their bright dominions
          In the gorgeous colours drest
          Flung from off the purple pinions,
          Evening spreads throughout the west!

          Thine are all the coral fountains
          Warbling in each sparry vault
          Of the untrodden lunar mountains;
          Listen to their songs!--or halt,

          To Niphates' top invited,
          Whither spiteful Satan steered;                             30
          Or descend where the ark alighted,
          When the green earth re-appeared;

          For the power of hills is on thee,
          As was witnessed through thine eye
          Then, when old Helvellyn won thee
          To confess their majesty!
                                                              1816.


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