William Wordsworth - The River Duddon - Sonnet 04 - Read by Phil Benson The River Duddon A Series Of Sonnets Sonnet 04 by William Wordsworth (1770-1850) Take, cradled Nursling of the mountain, take This parting glance, no negligent adieu! A Protean change seems wrought while I pursue The curves, a loosely-scattered chain doth make; Or rather thou appear'st a glistering snake, Silent, and to the gazer's eye untrue, Thridding with sinuous lapse the rushes, through Dwarf willows gliding, and by ferny brake. Starts from a dizzy steep the undaunted Rill Rob'd instantly in garb of snow-white foam; And laughing dares the Adventurer, who hath clomb So high, a rival purpose to fulfil; Else let the Dastard backward wend, and roam, Seeking less bold achievement, where he will!
William Wordsworth - The River Duddon - Sonnet 03 - Read by Phil Benson The River Duddon A Series Of Sonnets Sonnet 03 by William Wordsworth (1770-1850) How shall I paint thee? — Be this naked stone My seat while I give way to such intent; Pleased could my verse, a speaking monument, Make to the eyes of men thy features known. But as of all those tripping lambs not one Outruns his fellows, so hath nature lent To thy beginning nought that doth present Peculiar grounds for hope to build upon. To dignify the spot that gives thee birth, No sign of hoar Antiquity's esteem Appears, and none of modern Fortune's care; Yet thou thyself hast round thee shed a gleam Of brilliant moss, instinct with freshness rare; Prompt offering to thy Foster-mother, Earth!
William Wordsworth - The River Duddon - Sonnet 02 - Read by Phil Benson The River Duddon A Series Of Sonnets Sonnet 02 by William Wordsworth (1770-1850) Child of the clouds! remote from every taint Of sordid industry thy lot is cast; Thine are the honours of the lofty waste; Not seldom, when with heat the valleys faint, Thy hand-maid Frost with spangled tissue quaint Thy cradle decks; — to chaunt thy birth, thou hast No meaner Poet than the whistling Blast, And Desolation is thy Patron-saint! She guards thee, ruthless Power! who would not spare Those mighty forests, once the bison's screen, Where stalked the huge deer to his shaggy lair Through paths and alleys roofed with sombre green, Thousands of years before the silent air Was pierced by whizzing shaft of hunter keen. Note: The deer alluded to is the Leigh, a gigantic species long since extinct.
William Wordsworth - The River Duddon - Sonnet 01 - Read by Phil Benson The River Duddon A Series Of Sonnets Sonnet 01 by William Wordsworth (1770-1850) Not envying shades which haply yet may throw A grateful coolness round that rocky spring, Bandusia, once responsive to the string Of the Horatian lyre with babbling flow; Careless of flowers that in perennial blow Round the moist marge of Persian fountains cling; Heedless of Alpine torrents thundering Through icy portals radiant as heaven's bow; I seek the birth-place of a native Stream. — All hail ye mountains, hail thou morning light! Better to breathe upon this aery height Than pass in needless sleep from dream to dream ; Pure flow the verse, pure, vigorous, free, and bright, For Duddon, long lov'd Duddon, is my theme!