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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

YARROW REVISITED, AND OTHER POEMS

XIX

THE AVON

A FEEDER OF THE ANNAN

"Yet is it one that other rivulets bear." There is the Shakspeare Avon, the Bristol Avon; the one that flows by Salisbury, and a small river in Wales, I believe, bear the name; Avon being in the ancient tongue the general name for river.

AVON--a precious, an immortal name!
Yet is it one that other rivulets bear
Like this unheard-of, and their channels wear
Like this contented, though unknown to Fame:
For great and sacred is the modest claim
Of Streams to Nature's love, where'er they flow;
And ne'er did Genius slight them, as they go,
Tree, flower, and green herb, feeding without blame.
But Praise can waste her voice on work of tears,
Anguish, and death: full oft where innocent blood
Has mixed its current with the limpid flood,
Her heaven-offending trophies Glory rears:
Never for like distinction may the good
Shrink from 'thy' name, pure Rill, with unpleased ears.