take second place
after the mountains
and rivers of Europe
but the poet removes
blinders of proximity.
The River Eden, Cumberland
— by William Wordsworth
Eden! till now thy beauty had I viewed
By glimpses only, and confess with shame
That verse of mine, whate’er its varying mood,
Repeats but once the sound of thy sweet name:
Yet fetched from Paradise that honour came,
Rightfully borne; for Nature gives thee flowers
That have no rivals among British bowers;
And thy bold rocks are worthy of their fame.
Measuring thy course, fair Stream! at length I pay
To my life’s neighbour dues of neighbourhood;
But I have traced thee on thy winding way
With pleasure sometimes by this thought restrained—
For things far off we toil, while many a good
Not sought, because too near, is never gained.