Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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MEMORIALS OF A TOUR ON THE CONTINENT, 1820

XI. ON APPROACHING THE STAUB-BACH, LAUTERBRUNNEN

          UTTERED by whom, or how inspired--designed
          For what strange service, does this concert reach
          Our ears, and near the dwellings of mankind!
          'Mid fields familiarized to human speech?--
          No Mermaid's warble--to allay the wind
          Driving some vessel toward a dangerous beach--
          More thrilling melodies; Witch answering Witch,
          To chant a love-spell, never intertwined
          Notes shrill and wild with art more musical:
          Alas! that from the lips of abject Want                     10
          Or Idleness in tatters mendicant
          The strain should flow--free Fancy to enthral,
          And with regret and useless pity haunt
          This bold, this bright, this sky-born, WATERFALL!


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