Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > England
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV.  1876–79.
The Swans of Wilton
O, HOW the swans of Wilton
  Twenty abreast did go,
Like country girls bound for the church,
  Sails set and all aglow!
With pouting breast in pure white dressed        5
  Softly gliding in a row.
Where through the weed’s green fleeces,
  The perch in brazen coat,
The golden shuttles mermaids use
  Shot past my crimson float;        10
Where swinish carp were snoring loud
  Around the anchored boat.
Adown the gentle river
  The white swans bore in sail,
Their full, soft feathers puffing out        15
  Like canvas in the gale;
And all the kine and dappled deer
  Stood watching in the vale.
The stately swans of Wilton
  Strutted and puffed along,        20
Like canons in their full white gowns
  Late for an evening song,
When up the vale the peevish bell
  In vain has chided long.
O, how the swans of Wilton        25
  Bore down the radiant stream!
As calm as holy hermits’ lives,
  Or a play-tired infant’s dream;
Like fairy beds of last year’s snow,
  Did these radiant creatures seem.        30

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