Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > France
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
France: Vols. IX–X.  1876–79.
 
Calais
Fish-women
William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
 
On Landing at Calais

’T IS said, fantastic ocean doth enfold
The likeness of whate’er on land is seen;
But if the Nereid sisters and their queen,
Above whose heads the tide so long hath rolled,
The dames resemble whom we here behold,        5
How fearful were it down through opening waves
To sink, and meet them in their fretted caves,
Withered, grotesque, immeasurably old,
And shrill and fierce in accent! Fear it not:
For they earth’s fairest daughters do excel;        10
Pure, undecaying beauty is their lot;
Their voices into liquid music swell,
Thrilling each pearly cleft and sparry grot,
The undisturbed abodes where sea-nymphs dwell!
 
 
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