Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
France: Vols. IX–X. 1876–79.



By 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,

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;

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!