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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

THE RIVER DUDDON

A SERIES OF SONNETS

XXVI

RETURN, Content! for fondly I pursued,
Even when a child, the Streams--unheard, unseen;
Through tangled woods, impending rocks between;
Or, free as air, with flying inquest viewed
The sullen reservoirs whence their bold brood--
Pure as the morning, fretful, boisterous, keen,
Green as the salt-sea billows, white and green--
Poured down the hills, a choral multitude!
Nor have I tracked their course for scanty gains;
They taught me random cares and truant joys,
That shield from mischief and preserve from stains
Vague minds, while men are growing out of boys;
Maturer Fancy owes to their rough noise
Impetuous thoughts that brook not servile reins.