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

Greta, the River

To the River Greta, near Keswick

By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

GRETA, what fearful listening! when huge stones

Rumble along thy bed, block after block;

Or, whirling with reiterated shock,

Combat, while darkness aggravates the groans:

But if thou (like Cocytus from the moans

Heard on his rueful margin) thence wert named

The mourner, thy true nature was defamed,

And the habitual murmur that atones

For thy worst rage forgotten. Oft as Spring

Decks, on thy sinuous banks, her thousand thrones,

Seats of glad instinct and love’s carolling,

The concert, for the happy, then may vie

With liveliest peals of birthday harmony;

To a grieved heart the notes are benisons.