Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS

IN SERIES, 1821-22. PART II.

XLIII. ILLUSTRATION

THE JUNG-FRAU AND THE FALL OF THE RHINE NEAR SCHAFFHAUSEN

          THE Virgin Mountain, wearing like a Queen
          A brilliant crown of everlasting snow,
          Sheds ruin from her sides; and men below
          Wonder that aught of aspect so serene
          Can link with desolation. Smooth and green,
          And seeming, at a little distance, slow,
          The waters of the Rhine; but on they go
          Fretting and whitening, keener and more keen;
          Till madness seizes on the whole wide Flood,
          Turned to a fearful Thing whose nostrils breathe            10
          Blasts of tempestuous smoke--wherewith he tries
          To hide himself, but only magnifies;
          And doth in more conspicuous torment writhe,
          Deafening the region in his ireful mood.


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