Guest poem sent in by Raghavendra
(Poem #652) The Cataract of Lodore
"How does the water Come down at Lodore?" My little boy asked me Thus, once on a time; And moreover he tasked me To tell him in rhyme. Anon, at the word, There first came one daughter, And then came another, To second and third The request of their brother, And to hear how the water Comes down at Lodore, With its rush and its roar, As many a time They had seen it before. So I told them in rhyme, For of rhymes I had store; And 'twas in my vocation For their recreation That so I should sing; Because I was Laureate To them and the King. From its sources which well In the tarn on the fell; From its fountains In the mountains, Its rills and its gills; Through moss and through brake, It runs and it creeps For a while, till it sleeps In its own little lake. And thence at departing, Awakening and starting, It runs through the reeds, And away it proceeds, Through meadow and glade, In sun and in shade, And through the wood-shelter, Among crags in its flurry, Helter-skelter, Hurry-skurry. Here it comes sparkling, And there it lies darkling; Now smoking and frothing Its tumult and wrath in, Till, in this rapid race On which it is bent, It reaches the place Of its steep descent. The cataract strong Then plunges along, Striking and raging As if a war raging Its caverns and rocks among; Rising and leaping, Sinking and creeping, Swelling and sweeping, Showering and springing, Flying and flinging, Writhing and ringing, Eddying and whisking, Spouting and frisking, Turning and twisting, Around and around With endless rebound: Smiting and fighting, A sight to delight in; Confounding, astounding, Dizzying and deafening the ear with its sound. Collecting, projecting, Receding and speeding, And shocking and rocking, And darting and parting, And threading and spreading, 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 prancing 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.
[1774-1843] I find waterfalls fascinating. The sprinkle formed by the water crashing to the base symbolizes life and energy to me. Reading Southey's "The Cataract of Lodore" gave me the experience as of watching a spectacular waterfall. I managed to find a photograph of the waterfall which, however, disappointed me. I guess it was taken during a dry spell. Southey's description of the waterfall is a masterpiece. The poem creates a wonderful image of a lively waterfall. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that he spirit of the waterfall has been captured in words for eternity by Southey. Check out [broken link] http://www.btinternet.com/~lake.district/kes/lodore.htm for a photograph of the waterfall at Lodore. regards, Raghavendra Links: Biography of Southey: poem #203 Also check out Tennyson's somewhat reminiscent 'The Brook' poem #80