Home

 


William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

THE RIVER DUDDON

A SERIES OF SONNETS

XVI

AMERICAN TRADITION

SUCH fruitless questions may not long beguile
Or plague the fancy 'mid the sculptured shows
Conspicuous yet where Oroonoko flows;
'There' would the Indian answer with a smile
Aimed at the White Man's ignorance, the while,
Of the GREAT WATERS telling how they rose,
Covered the plains, and, wandering where they chose,
Mounted through every intricate defile,
Triumphant--Inundation wide and deep,
O'er which his Fathers urged, to ridge and steep
Else unapproachable, their buoyant way;
And carved, on mural cliff's undreaded side,
Sun, moon, and stars, and beast of chase or prey;
Whate'er they sought, shunned, loved, or deified!

NOTE

14 See Humboldt's "Personal Narrative."