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.
 
Lewesdon Hill
Lewesdon Hill
William Crowe (1745–1829)
 
*        *        *        *        *
FROM this proud eminence on all sides round
The unbroken prospect opens to my view,
On all sides large; save only where the head
Of Pillesdon rises, Pillesdon’s lofty Pen:
So call (still rendering to his ancient name        5
Observance due) that rival height southwest,
Which, like a rampire, bounds the vale beneath.
There woods, there blooming orchards, there are seen
Herds ranging, or at rest beneath the shade
Of some wide-branching oak; there goodly fields        10
Of corn, and verdant pasture, whence the kine,
Returning with their milky treasure home,
Store the rich dairy: such fair plenty fills
The pleasant vale of Marshwood, pleasant now,
Since that the spring hath decked anew the meads        15
With flowery vesture, and the warmer sun
Their foggy moistness drained; in wintry days
Cold, vaporish, miry, wet, and to the flocks
Unfriendly, when autumnal rains begin
To drench the spongy turf; but ere that time        20
The careful shepherd moves to healthier soil,
Rechasing, 1 lest his tender ewes should coath 2
In the dank pasturage. Let not the fields
Of Evesham, nor that ample valley named
Of the White Horse, its antique monument        25
Carved in the chalky bourn, for beauty and wealth
Might equal, though surpassing in extent,
This fertile vale, in length from Lewesdon’s base
Extended to the sea, and watered well
By many a rill; but chief with thy clear stream,        30
Thou nameless Rivulet, who, from the side
Of Lewesdon softly welling forth, dost trip
Adown the valley, wandering sportively.
*        *        *        *        *
How is it vanished in a hasty spleen,
The Tor of Glastonbury! Even but now        35
I saw the hoary pile cresting the top
Of that northwestern hill; and in this Now
A cloud hath passed on it, and its dim bulk
Becomes annihilate, or, if not, a spot
Which the strained vision tires itself to find.
*        *        *        *        *
        40
But hark! the village clock strikes nine; the chimes
Merrily follow, tuneful to the sense
Of the pleased clown attentive, while they make
False-measured melody on crazy bells.
O wondrous power of modulated sound!        45
Which, like the air (whose all-obedient shape
Thou mak’st thy slave), canst subtilely pervade
The yielded avenues of sense, unlock
The close affections, by some fairy path
Winning an easy way through every ear,        50
And with thine unsubstantial quality
Holding in mighty chains the hearts of all,—
All but some cold and sullen-tempered spirits
Who feel no touch of sympathy or love.
 
Note 1. Changing pasture. [back]
Note 2. Become distempered. [back]
 
 
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