Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.



By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

ON to Iona!—What can she afford

To us save matter for a thoughtful sigh,

Heaved over ruin with stability

In urgent contrast? To diffuse the Word

(Thy paramount, mighty Nature! and time’s Lord)

Her temples rose, mid pagan gloom; but why,

Even for a moment, has our verse deplored

Their wrongs, since they fulfilled their destiny?

And when, subjected to a common doom

Of mutability, those far-famed piles

Shall disappear from both the sister isles,

Iona’s saints, forgetting not past days,

Garlands shall wear of amaranthine bloom,

While heaven’s vast sea of voices chants their praise.

Upon Landing

HOW sad a welcome! To each voyager

Some ragged child holds up for sale a store

Of wave-worn pebbles, pleading on the shore

Where once came monk and nun with gentle stir,

Blessings to give, news ask, or suit prefer.

Yet is yon neat, trim church a grateful speck

Of novelty amid the sacred wreck

Strewn far and wide. Think, proud philosopher!

Fallen though she be, this glory of the west,

Still on her sons the beams of mercy shine;

And hopes, perhaps more heavenly bright than thine,

A grace by thee unsought and unpossest,

A faith more fixed, a rapture more divine,

Shall gild their passage to eternal rest.