Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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MALHAM COVE

          WAS the aim frustrated by force or guile,
          When giants scooped from out the rocky ground,
          Tier under tier, this semicirque profound?
          (Giants--the same who built in Erin's isle
          That Causeway with incomparable toil!)--
          Oh, had this vast theatric structure wound
          With finished sweep into a perfect round,
          No mightier work had gained the plausive smile
          Of all-beholding Phoebus! But, alas,
          Vain earth! false world! Foundations must be laid           10
          In Heaven; for, 'mid the wreck of IS and WAS,
          Things incomplete and purposes betrayed
          Make sadder transits o'er thought's optic glass
          Than noblest objects utterly decayed.
                                                              1819.


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