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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

MEMORIALS OF A TOUR ON THE CONTINENT

X

THE SOURCE OF THE DANUBE

NOT, like his great Compeers, indignantly
Doth DANUBE spring to life! The wandering Stream
(Who loves the Cross, yet to the Crescent's gleam
Unfolds a willing breast) with infant glee
Slips from his prison walls: and Fancy, free
To follow in his track of silver light,
Mounts on rapt wing, and with a moment's flight
Hath reached the encincture of that gloomy sea
Whose waves the Orphean lyre forbade to meet
In conflict; whose rough winds forgot their jars
To waft the heroic progeny of Greece;
When the first Ship sailed for the Golden Fleece--
ARGO--exalted for that daring feat
To fix in heaven her shape distinct with stars.

NOTE

2 'Not, like his great Compeers, indignantly
Doth Danube spring to life!'

Before this quarter of the Black Forest was inhabited, the source of the Danube might have suggested some of those sublime images which Armstrong has so finely described; at present, the contrast is most striking. The Spring appears in a capacious stone Basin in front of a Ducal palace, with a pleasure-ground opposite; then, passing under the pavement, takes the form of a little, clear, bright, black, vigorous rill, barely wide enough to tempt the agility of a child five years old to leap over it,--and entering the garden, it joins, after a course of a few hundred yards, a stream much more considerable than itself. The 'copiousness' of the spring at 'Doneschingen' must have procured for it the honour of being named the Source of the Danube.