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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.


To ——, on Her First Ascent to the Summit of Helvellyn

By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

INMATE of a mountain dwelling,

Thou hast clomb aloft, and gazed

From the watch-towers of Helvellyn;

Awed, delighted, and amazed!

Potent was the spell that bound thee,

Not unwilling to obey;

For blue Ether’s arms, flung round thee,

Stilled the pantings of dismay.

Lo the dwindled woods and meadows!

What a vast abyss is there!

Lo the clouds, the solemn shadows,

And the glistenings,—heavenly fair!

And a record of commotion

Which a thousand ridges yield;

Ridge and gulf and distant ocean

Gleaming like a silver shield!

Now take flight; possess, inherit

Alps or Andes,—they are thine!

With the morning’s roseate spirit,

Sweep their length of snowy line;

Or survey their bright dominions

In the gorgeous colors drest

Flung from off the purple pinions

Evening spreads throughout the west!

Thine are all the coral fountains

Warbling in each sparry vault

Of the untrodden lunar mountains;

Listen to their songs!—or halt,

To Niphates’ top invited,

Whither spiteful Satan steered;

Or descend where the ark alighted,

When the green earth reappeared;—

For the power of hills is on thee,

As was witnessed through thine eye

Then, when old Helvellyn won thee

To confess their majesty!