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The Cataract of Lodore -- Robert Southey

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.
-- Robert Southey
        [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

35 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Humberto Barrientos said...

The power of a poem.
There is a Lodore Hotel by the now famous cataract in England
There are several Lodores in the world from Australia to USA.
Another example that the pen is more powerfull than the sword

HB

MTSPIDER said...

Dear Sir/Madam
Can youtellus where ''Lodore'' is in the poem 'The Cataracts of
Lodore''. Your help would be appreciated to advise our schoolchildren ,who
are reading 'Southey'

Yours in apprecitation E. Webb

Kent Upshaw said...

Recently paddled the Lodore Canyon in Colorado. The decision to name the canyon after the poem was appropriate.

Knull's said...

Is the Cataract of Lodore only located in Colorado, or is there a similar place in the British Isles?

S. Knull

Alfred Poggi said...

Hi : Seems to me that this poem has been copied by others, I recall reading some so similar but I cannot recall the names of said poems. Can you offer any to me that are ,well , so alike , especially the rhyming style. I would certainly appreciate hearing from you. This kind of thing drives me bonkers. I`m 79 , but poetry has kept my gears from grinding, -------I think !!
Thank You , Fred

Vaveith said...

I had a copy of this, lost it about 35 years ago, and have been looking ever
since.

After many unfruitful web searches I casually mentioned it to a friend,
and she found this link in about 5 minutes. Don't you hate people like
that? Now I owe her big time.

marion said...

Love it and glove it, for it and adore it.

Alliteration and assonance, consonance and onomatopoeia to beat the gushing and rushing of the fall of the fell.

m d s dreyfs
wuhan, china

Gerhard Richter said...

...and here is the music to:

The Cataract of Lodore

G. Richter
(wait or/and install the scorch plugin, so you can see the score!)

ZeinaAmara said...

Back in the 1950's I took a speech course from Eleanor Dopp in Pasadena,
California. One of her exercises for annunciating clearly was to grip a pencil
between my teeth and recite the following lines -- dramatically, of course. I
had no idea there was more to this poem until I visited your website. I was
delighted to read it in its entirety. Thanks for posting it.

Gail Howard()

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.

Tracy Sear said...

Hi, I have a copy from a 1927 printing of the Cataract of Lodore and
have a comment and revision. I have noticed others have picked up on
the same error on other web sites.
There is no double break between lines 53 and 54. Also, the last word
of line 54 is war "waging". "Raging" is not used twice. This also
makes more sense in good poetry.

Thank you
Tracy

Tracy Sear

หนังโป๊ออนไลน์ said...

Hi, I have a copy from a 1927 printing of the Cataract of Lodore and
have a comment and revision. I have noticed others have picked up on
the same error on other web sites.
There is no double break between lines 53 and 54. Also, the last word
of line 54 is war "waging". "Raging" is not used twice. This also
makes more sense in good poetry.

หนังโป๊ออนไลน์ said...

Around and around
With endless rebound:
Smiting and fighting,

หนังโป๊ออนไลน์ said...

ve a comment and revision. I have noticed others have picked up on
the same error on other web sites.
There is no double break between lines 53 and 54. Also, the la

หนังโป๊ออนไลน์ said...

The cataract strong
Then plunges along,
Striking and raging

หนังโป๊ออนไลน์ said...

The cataract strong
Then plunges along,
Striking and raging

ภาพโป๊ said...

aract strong
Then plunges along,
Striking and raging

หนังโป๊ออนไลน์ said...

The cataract strong
Then plunges along,

ภาพโป๊ said...

aract strong
Then plunges along,
Striking and raging

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