William Wordsworth

Helen Darbishire and Ernest De Selincourt (eds), The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. 3: Miscellaneous Sonnets; Memorials of Various Tours; Poems to National Independence and Liberty; The Egyptian Maid; The River Duddon Series; The White Doe and Other Narrative Poems; Ecclesiastical Sonnets (Second Edition)

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Editor’s NoteXto the torrent at the devil's bridge, north wales, 1824

[Composed September, 1824.—Published 1827.]

  • 1How art thou named? In search of what strange land,
  • 2From what huge height, descending? Can such force
  • 3Of waters issue from a British source,
  • Editor’s Note4Or hath not Pindus fed thee, where the band
  • 5Of Patriots scoop their freedom out, with hand
  • 6Desperate as thine? Or come the incessant shocks
  • 7From that young Stream, that smites the throbbing rocks,
  • Editor’s Note8Of Viamala? There I seem to stand,
  • 9As in life's morn; permitted to behold,
  • 10From the dread chasm, woods climbing above woods,
  • 11In pomp that fades not; everlasting snows;
  • 12And skies that ne'er relinquish their repose;
  • 13Such power possess the family of floods
  • 14Over the minds of Poets, young or old!

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
p. 43. X. To the Torrent at the Devil's Bridge: "It rained heavily in the night, and we saw the waterfalls in perfection. While Dora was attempting to make a sketch from the chasm in the rain, I composed by her side the following address to the torrent."—W. W. to Sir George Beaumont (L.Y., p. 155).
Editor’s Note
4-5. where the band Of Patriots scoop their freedom out] The Greek war of Independence was then in progress. Byron had died at Missolonghi in the previous April.
Editor’s Note
8. Viamala] near the source of the Rhine. W. had visited it with Jones in 1790, v. Descriptive Sketches, 162–3.
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