Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > England
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV.  1876–79.
 
Derwent, the River
For the Spot Where the Hermitage Stood on St. Herbert’s Island, Derwent Water
William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
 
IF thou in the dear love of some one friend
Hast been so happy that thou know’st what thoughts
Will sometimes in the happiness of love
Make the heart sink, then wilt thou reverence
This quiet spot; and, Stranger! not unmoved        5
Wilt thou behold this shapeless heap of stones,
The desolate ruins of St. Herbert’s cell.
Here stood his threshold; here was spread the roof
That sheltered him, a self-secluded man,
After long exercise in social cares        10
And offices humane, intent to adore
The Deity, with undistracted mind,
And meditate on everlasting things,
In utter solitude. But he had left
A fellow-laborer, whom the good man loved        15
As his own soul. And when, with eye upraised
To heaven, he knelt before the crucifix,
While o’er the lake the cataract of Lodore
Pealed to his orisons, and when he paced
Along the beach of this small isle and thought        20
Of his companion, he would pray that both
(Now that their earthly duties were fulfilled)
Might die in the same moment. Nor in vain
So prayed he;—as our chronicles report,
Though here the hermit numbered his last day        25
Far from St. Cuthbert, his beloved friend,
Those holy men both died in the same hour.
 
 
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