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And whizzing and hissing,
And dripping and skipping,
And hitting and splitting,
And shining and twining,
And rattling and battling,
And shaking and quaking,
And pouring and roaring,
And waving and raving,
And tossing and crossing,
And flowing and going,
And running and stunning,
And foaming and roaming,
And dinning and spinning,
And dropping and hopping,
And working and jerking,
And guggling and struggling,
And heaving and cleaving,
And moaning and groaning ;

And glittering and frittering,
And gathering and feathering,
And whitening and brightening,
And quivering and shivering,
And hurrying and skurrying,
And thundering and floundering;

Dividing and gliding and sliding,
And falling and brawling and sprawling,
And driving and riving and striving,
And sprinkling and twinkling and wrinkling,
And sounding and bounding and rounding,

And bubbling and troubling and doubling,
And grumbling and rumbling and tumbling,
And clattering and battering and shattering;

Retreating and beating and meeting and sheeting,
Delaying and straying and playing and spraying,
Advancing and praucing and glancing and dancing,
Recoiling, turmoiling and toiling and boiling,
And gleaming and streaming and steaming and beaming,
And rushing and flushing and brushing and gushing,
And flapping and rapping and clapping and slapping,
And curling and whirling and purling and twirling,
And thumping and plumping and bumping and jumping,
And dashing and flashing and splashing and clashing ;
And so never ending, but always descending,
Sounds and motions for ever and ever are blending,
All at once and all o'er, with a mighty uproar;
And this way the water comes down at Lodore.

Robert Southey.




MHOUGH grief and fondness in my breast rebel

When injured Thales bids the town farewell, Yet still my calmer thoughts his choice commend, I praise the hermit, but regret the friend; Who now resolves, from vice and London far,

To breathe in distant fields a purer air,
And, fixed on Cambria's solitary shore,
Give to St. David one true Briton more.
For who would leave, unbribed, Hibernia's land,
Or change the rocks of Scotland for the Strand ?
There none are swept by sudden fate away,
But all whom hunger spares with age decay :
Here malice, rapine, accident, conspire,
And now a rabble rages, now a fire ;
Their ambush here relentless ruffins lay,
And here the fell attorney prowls for prey;
Here falling houses thunder on your head,
And here a female atheist talks you dead.

Samuel Johnson.



MIGHTY mass of brick, and smoke, and shipping,

Dirty and dusky, but as wide as eye Could reach, with here and there a sail just skipping

In sight, then lost amidst the forestry
Of masts; a wilderness of steeples peeping

On tiptoe through their sea-coal canopy ;
A huge, dun cupola, like a foolscap crown
On a fool's head, — and there is London Town!

Lord Byron.


1live in London was my young wood-dream,

London, where all the books come from, the lode
That draws into its centre from all points
The bright steel of the world; where Shakespeare wrote,
And Eastcheap is, with all its memories
Of gossip Quickly, Falstaff, and Prince Hal;
Where are the very stones that Milton trod,
And Johnson, Garrick, Goldsmith, and the rest;
Where even now our Dickens builds a shrine
That pilgrims through all time will come to see,
London! whose street names breathe such home to all :
Cheapside, the Strand, Fleet Street, and Ludgate Hill,
Each name a very story in itself.
To live in London ! London, the buskined stage
Of history, the archive of the past,
The heart, the centre of the living world !
Wake, dreamer, to your village and your work.

Robert Leighton.


THERE was a time when whatsoe’er is feigned

Of airy palaces, and gardens built
By Genii of romance; or hath in grave
Authentic history been set forth of Rome,
Alcairo, Babylon, or Persepolis ;
Or given upon report by pilgrim friars,
Of golden cities ten months' journey deep
Among Tartarian wilds, fell short, far short,
Of what my fond simplicity believed
And thought of London, held me by a chain
Less strong of wonder and obscure delight.
Whether the bolt of childhood's fancy shot
For me beyond its ordinary mark,
'T were vain to ask; but in our flock of boys
TVas one, a cripple from his birth, whom chance

Summoned from school to London : fortunate
And envied traveller! When the boy returned,
After short absence, curiously I scanned
His mien and person, nor was free, in sooth,
From disappointment, not to find some change
In look and air, from that new region brought,
As if from Fairy-land. Much I questioned him;
And every word he uttered on my ears
Fell flatter than a cagéd parrot's note,
That answers unexpectedly awry,
And mocks the prompter's listening. Marvellous things
Had vanity (quick spirit that appears
Almost as deeply seated and as strong
In a child's heart as fear itself) conceived
For my enjoyment. Would that I could now
Recall what then I pictured to myself
Of mitred prelates, lords in ermine clad,
The King and the King's palace, and, not last,
Nor least, Heaven bless him! the renowned Lord

Dreams not unlike to those which once begat
A change of purpose in young Whittington,
When he, a friendless and a drooping boy,
Sat on a stone, and heard the bells speak out
Articulate music. Above all, one thought

my understanding : how men lived Even next-door neighbors, as we say, yet still Strangers, not knowing each the other's name.

O wondrous power of words, by simple faith Licensed to take the meaning that we love!

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