>“On Skiddaw and Derwent Water>”

On Skiddaw and Derwent Water

a upon thy heights the sun shinesbright
But only for a moment then gives place
Unto a playful cloud which on thy brow
Sports wantonly then floats away in air

Throwing its shadow on thy towering height
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And darkening for a moment thy green side
But adds unto its beauty as it makes
The sun more bright when it again appears.
Then in the morning on thy brow thoseclouds
Rest as upon a couch and give fair scope
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For fa
cys play, and airy fortresses

And towers battlements and all appear
Chasing each other off and in their turn
Are chased by the others. b But enough
Iʼve treated of the clouds c Now Skiddaw come d
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Noble and grand and beauteous clothed withgreen
And yet but scantily. And in some parts
A bare terrific cliff precipitate
Descends with only here and there a bush
A straggler with its roots fixed in the stone
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And bare and scraggy as befits the soil. e
Skiddaw majestic giant natures work
Lower than Alps or Andes. Pyreneeʼs
Are all much higher 1 But those works of art
Those giant works of art
2 with thee compared
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sink into nothing. All that art can do
Is nothing beside thee The touch of man

Raised pigmy mountains but gigantic tombs
The touch of nature raised the mountains brow
But made no tombs at all save where the snow
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The fleecy locks of winter fall around
And form a frail memorial for the swain f
Who wanders far from home and meets hisdeath
Amidst the cold of Winter. But no more
On this sad subject on this happy day g
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Now Derwent Water come A looking glass
Wherein refle
ted are the mountains height

As in a mirror framed in rocks and woods.
So upon thee there is a seeming mount
A seeming tree a seeming rivulet
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All upon thee are painted by a hand
Which not a critic can well criticise
But to disturb thee oft bluff Eolus
Descends upon the mountains With hisbreath
Thy polished surface is a boy at play
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Who labours at the snow to make a man
And when heʼs made it knocks it downagain h
So when thouʼst made a picture thou dostplay

At tearing it to pieces Trees do first
Tremble as if a monstrous heart of Oak
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Were but an aspen leaf and then as if
It were a cobweb in the tempests blow
Thus like Penelope thou weavst a web
And then thou dost undo it Thouʼrt like her
Because thourt fair and oft deceiving too 3
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Sweet Derwent on thy winding shore
Beside thy mountain forests hoar
There would I like to wander still
And drink from out the rippling rill
Which from thy mountain head doth fall i
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And mingles with the eagles call
While on Helvellyn thunder roars
Re‐echoed by all j Derwents shores
And where the lightning flashes still
Reflected in the mountain rill.
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