Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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THE RIVER DUDDON

A SERIES OF SONNETS, 1820.

VIII

          WHAT aspect bore the Man who roved or fled,
          First of his tribe, to this dark dell--who first
          In this pellucid Current slaked his thirst?
          What hopes came with him? what designs were spread
          Along his path? His unprotected bed
          What dreams encompassed? Was the intruder nursed
          In hideous usages, and rites accursed,
          That thinned the living and disturbed the dead?
          No voice replies;--both air and earth are mute;
          And Thou, blue Streamlet, murmuring yield'st no more        10
          Than a soft record, that, whatever fruit
          Of ignorance thou might'st witness heretofore,
          Thy function was to heal and to restore,
          To soothe and cleanse, not madden and pollute!


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