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.
Nun’s Well, Brigham
William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
THE CATTLE, crowding round this beverage clear
To slake their thirst, with reckless hoofs have trod
The encircling turf into a barren clod,
Through which the waters creep, then disappear,
Born to be lost in Derwent, flowing near;        5
Yet o’er the brink, and round the limestone cell
Of the pure spring, (they call it the “Nun’s Well,”
Name that first struck by chance my startled ear,)
A tender spirit broods,—the pensive shade
Of ritual honors to this fountain paid        10
By hooded votaresses with saintly cheer;
Albeit oft the Virgin-Mother mild
Looked down with pity upon eyes beguiled
Into the shedding of “too soft a tear.”

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