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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

POEMS

COMPOSED OR SUGGESTED DURING A TOUR IN THE SUMMER OF 1833

XXIV

ON THE FRITH OF CLYDE

IN A STEAMBOAT

The mountain outline on the north of this island, as seen from the Frith of Clyde, is much the finest I have ever noticed in Scotland or elsewhere.

ARRAN! a single-crested Teneriffe,
A St. Helena next--in shape and hue,
Varying her crowded peaks and ridges blue;
Who but must covet a cloud-seat, or skiff
Built for the air, or winged Hippogriff?
That he might fly, where no one could pursue,
From this dull Monster and her sooty crew;
And, as a God, light on thy topmost cliff.
Impotent wish! which reason would despise
If the mind knew no union of extremes,
No natural bond between the boldest schemes,
Ambition frames, and heart-humilities.
Beneath stern mountains many a soft vale lies,
And lofty springs give birth to lowly streams.