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

Liddel, the River

The Liddel River

By John Armstrong (1709–1779)

(From The Art of Preserving Health)

BUT if the breathless chase o’er hill and dale

Exceed your strength, a sport of less fatigue,

Not less delightful, the prolific stream

Affords. The crystal rivulet, that o’er

A stony channel rolls its rapid maze,

Swarms with the silver fry. Such, through the bounds

Of pastoral Stafford, runs the brawling Trent;

Such Eden, sprung from Cumbrian mountains; such

The Esk, o’erhung with woods; and such the stream

On whose Arcadian banks I first drew air,

Liddel; till now, except in Doric lays

Tuned to her murmurs by her love-sick swains,

Unknown in song: though not a purer stream,

Through meads more flowery, more romantic groves,

Rolls toward the western main. Hail, sacred flood!

May still thy hospitable swains be blessed

In rural innocence; thy mountains still

Teem with the fleecy race; thy tuneful woods

Forever flourish; and thy vales look gay

With painted meadows, and the golden grain!