Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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THE RIVER DUDDON

A SERIES OF SONNETS, 1820.

XVI. AMERICAN TRADITION

          SUCH fruitless questions may not long beguile
          Or plague the fancy 'mid the sculptured shows
          Conspicuous yet where Oroonoko flows;
          'There' would the Indian answer with a smile
          Aimed at the White Man's ignorance, the while,
          Of the GREAT WATERS telling how they rose,
          Covered the plains, and, wandering where they chose,
          Mounted through every intricate defile,
          Triumphant--Inundation wide and deep,
          O'er which his Fathers urged, to ridge and steep            10
          Else unapproachable, their buoyant way;
          And carved, on mural cliff's undreaded side,
          Sun, moon, and stars, and beast of chase or prey;
          Whate'er they sought, shunned, loved, or deified!


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