Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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THE RIVER DUDDON

A SERIES OF SONNETS, 1820.

IX. THE STEPPING-STONES

          THE struggling Rill insensibly is grown
          Into a Brook of loud and stately march,
          Crossed ever and anon by plank or arch;
          And, for like use, lo! what might seem a zone
          Chosen for ornament--stone matched with stone
          In studied symmetry, with interspace
          For the clear waters to pursue their race
          Without restraint. How swiftly have they flown,
          Succeeding--still succeeding! Here the Child
          Puts, when the high-swoln Flood runs fierce and wild,       10
          His budding courage to the proof; and here
          Declining Manhood learns to note the sly
          And sure encroachments of infirmity,
          Thinking how fast time runs, life's end how near!


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