Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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THE RIVER DUDDON

A SERIES OF SONNETS, 1820.

XXIII. SHEEP-WASHING

          SAD thoughts, avaunt!--partake we their blithe cheer
          Who gathered in betimes the unshorn flock
          To wash the fleece, where haply bands of rock,
          Checking the stream, make a pool smooth and clear
          As this we look on. Distant Mountains hear,
          Hear and repeat, the turmoil that unites
          Clamour of boys with innocent despites
          Of barking dogs, and bleatings from strange fear.
          And what if Duddon's spotless flood receive
          Unwelcome mixtures as the uncouth noise                     10
          Thickens, the pastoral River will forgive
          Such wrong; nor need 'we' blame the licensed joys,
          Though false to Nature's quiet equipoise:
          Frank are the sports, the stains are fugitive.


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