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.
 
Wales: Towy, the River
Banks of the Towy
Robert Southey (1774–1843)
 
(From Madoc)

MUSING on thoughts like these, did Madoc roam
Alone along the Towy’s winding shore.
The beavers in its bank had hollowed out
Their social place of dwelling, and had dammed
The summer current, with their perfect art        5
Of instinct, erring not in means nor end.
But as the floods of spring had broken down
Their barrier, so its breaches unrepaired
Were left; and round the piles, which, deeper driven,
Still held their place, the eddying waters whirled.        10
Now in those habitations desolate
One sole survivor dwelt: him Madoc saw,
Laboring alone, beside his hermit house;
And in that mood of melancholy thought,—
For in his boyhood he had loved to watch        15
Their social work, and for he knew that man
In bloody sport had wellnigh rooted out
The poor community,—the ominous sight
Became a grief and burden. Eve came on;
The dry leaves rustled to the wind, and fell        20
And floated on the stream; there was no voice
Save of the mournful rooks, who overhead
Winged their long line; for fragrance of sweet flowers,
Only the odor of the autumnal leaves;—
All sights and sounds of sadness. And the place        25
To that despondent mood was ministrant.
Among the hills of Gwyneth, and its wilds,
And mountain glens, perforce he cherished still
The hope of mountain liberty; they braced
And knit the heart and arm of hardihood:        30
But here, in these green meads, by these low slopes
And hanging groves, attempered to the scene,
His spirit yielded.
 
 
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