Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Scotland
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII.  1876–79.
 
Clyde, the River
Composed at Cora Linn
William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
 
LORD of the vale! astounding flood;
The dullest leaf in this thick wood
Quakes, conscious of thy power;
The caves reply with hollow moan;
And vibrates, to its central stone,        5
Yon time-cemented tower!
 
And yet how fair the rural scene!
For thou, O Clyde, hast ever been
Beneficent as strong;
Pleased in refreshing dews to steep        10
The little, trembling flowers that peep
Thy shelving rocks among.
 
Hence all who love their country love
To look on thee, delight to rove
Where they thy voice can hear;        15
And to the patriot-warrior’s shade,
Lord of the vale! to heroes laid
In dust, that voice is dear!
 
Along thy banks, at dead of night,
Sweeps visibly the Wallace wight;        20
Or stands, in warlike vest,
Aloft, beneath the moon’s pale beam,
A champion worthy of the stream,
Yon gray tower’s living crest!
 
But clouds and envious darkness hide        25
A form not doubtfully descried;—
Their transient mission o’er,
O, say to what blind region flee
These shapes of awful fantasy?
To what untrodden shore?        30
 
Less than divine command they spurn;
But this we from the mountains learn,
And this the valleys show;
That never will they deign to hold
Communion where the heart is cold        35
To human weal and woe.
 
The man of abject soul in vain
Shall walk the Marathonian plain;
Or thrid the shadowy gloom
That still invests the guardian Pass,        40
Where stood, sublime, Leonidas
Devoted to the tomb.
 
And let no slave his head incline,
Or kneel, before the votive shrine
By Uri’s lake, where Tell        45
Leapt, from his storm-vext boat, to land,
Heaven’s instrument, for by his hand
That day the tyrant fell.
 
 
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