Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  The River Duddon

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

Duddon, the River

The River Duddon

By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

FROM this deep chasm, where quivering sunbeams play

Upon its loftiest crags, mine eyes behold

A gloomy niche, capacious, blank, and cold;

A concave free from shrubs and mosses gray;

In semblance fresh, as if, with dire affray,

Some statue, placed amid these regions old

For tutelary service, thence had rolled,

Startling the flight of timid yesterday!

Was it by mortals sculptured?—weary slaves

Of slow endeavor! or abruptly cast

Into rude shape by fire, with roaring blast

Tempestuously let loose from central caves?

Or fashioned by the turbulence of waves,

Then when o’er highest hills the deluge passed?