In a Carriage, Upon the Banks of the Rhine

AMID this dance of objects, sadness steals
O’er the defrauded heart – while sweeping by,
As in a fit of Thespian jollity,
Beneath her vine-leaf crown the green Earth reels:
Backward, in rapid evanescence, wheels
The venerable pageantry of Time,
Each beetling rampart, and each tower sublime,
And what the Dell unwillingly reveals
Of lurking cloistral arch, through trees espied
Near the bright River’s edge. Yet why repine?
Pedestrian liberty shall yet be mine
To muse, to creep, to halt at will, to gaze:
Freedom which youth with copious hand supplied,
May in fit measure bless my later days.

(William Wordsworth, Memorials of a tour on the continent, 1820)


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