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 Cliffs
William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
(From King Lear)

THERE is a cliff whose high and bending head
Looks fearfully in the confinéd deep.
*        *        *        *        *
Come on, sir; here ’s the place;—stand still. How fearful
And dizzy ’t is, to cast one’s eyes so low!
The crows and choughs, that wing the midway air,        5
Show scarce so gross as beetles: half-way down
Hangs one that gathers samphire: dreadful trade!
Methinks he seems no bigger than his head:
The fishermen, that walk upon the beach,
Appear like mice; and yond’ tall anchoring bark        10
Diminished to her cock; her cock, a buoy
Almost too small for sight: the murmuring surge,
That on the unnumbered idle pebbles chafes,
Cannot be heard so high:—I ’ll look no more;
Lest my brain turn, and the deficient sight        15
Topple down headlong.
*        *        *        *        *
From the dread summit of this chalky bourn
Look up a-height; the shrill-gorged lark so far
Cannot be seen or heard.

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