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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

POEMS

COMPOSED OR SUGGESTED DURING A TOUR IN THE SUMMER OF 1833

XVI

BY THE SEASHORE, ISLE OF MAN

WHY stand we gazing on the sparkling Brine,
With wonder smit by its transparency,
And all-enraptured with its purity?--
Because the unstained, the clear, the crystalline,
Have ever in them something of benign;
Whether in gem, in water, or in sky,
A sleeping infant's brow, or wakeful eye
Of a young maiden, only not divine.
Scarcely the hand forbears to dip its palm
For beverage drawn as from a mountain-well;
Temptation centres in the liquid Calm;
Our daily raiment seems no obstacle
To instantaneous plunging in, deep Sea!
And revelling in long embrace with thee.


NOTE

14 The sea-water on the coast of the Isle of Man is singularly pure and beautiful.