Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  To Wordsworth, on Visiting the Duddon

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

Duddon, the River

To Wordsworth, on Visiting the Duddon

By Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814–1902)

SO long as Duddon ’twixt his cloud-girt walls

Thridding the woody chambers of the hills

Warbles from vaulted grot and pebbled halls

Welcome or farewell to the meadow rills;

So long as linnets chant low madrigals

Near that brown nook the laborer whistling tills,

Or the late-reddening apple forms and falls

Mid dewy brakes the autumnal redbreast thrills,

So long, last poet of the great old race,

Shall thy broad song through England’s bosom roll,

A river singing anthems in its place,

And be to later England as a soul.

Glory to Him who made thee, and increase

To them that hear thy word, of love and peace!

WHEN first that precinct sacrosanct I trod

Autumn was there, but Autumn just begun;

Fronting the portals of a sinking sun,

The queen of quietude in vapor stood,

Her sceptre o’er the dimly crimsoned wood

Resting in light. The year’s great work was done;

Summer had vanished, and repinings none

Troubled the pulse of thoughtful gratitude.

Wordsworth! the autumn of our English song

Art thou; ’t was thine our vesper psalms to sing:

Chaucer sang matins; sweet his note and strong,

His singing-robe the green, white garb of Spring:

Thou like the dying year art rightly stoled,—

Pontine purple and dark harvest gold.