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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.

Rotha, the River

Banks of the Rotha

By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

From “To Joanna

’T WAS that delightful season when the broom,

Full-flowered, and visible on every steep,

Along the copses runs in veins of gold.

Our pathway led us on to Rotha’s banks;

And when we came in front of that tall rock

That eastward looks, I there stopped short, and stood

Tracing the lofty barrier with my eye

From base to summit; such delight I found

To note in shrub and tree, in stone and flower,

That intermixture of delicious hues,

Along so vast a surface, all at once,

In one impression, by connecting force

Of their own beauty, imaged in the heart.

When I had gazed perhaps two minutes’ space,

Joanna, looking in my eyes, beheld

That ravishment of mine, and laughed aloud.

The rock, like something starting from a sleep,

Took up the lady’s voice, and laughed again;

That ancient woman seated on Helm Crag

Was ready with her cavern; Hammar Scar,

And the tall steep of Silver How, sent forth

A noise of laughter; Southern Loughrigg heard,

And Fairfield answered with a mountain tone;

Helvellyn far into the clear blue sky

Carried the lady’s voice,—old Skiddaw blew

His speaking-trumpet; back out of the clouds

Of Glaramara southward came the voice,

And Kirkstone tossed it from his misty head.