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Poems and Extracts/Now come, ye Naiads, to the fountains lead


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Now come, ye Naiads, to the fountains lead;

Now let me wander through your gelid reign.
I burn to view the enthusiastic wilds
By mortal else untrod. I hear the din
Of waters thundering o'er the ruiu'd cliffs.
With holy reverence I approach the rocks
Whence glide the streams renown'd in ancient song.
Here from the desert down the rumbling steep
First springs the Nile; here bursts the sounding Po
In angry waves; Euphrates hence devolves10
A mighty flood to water half the east;
And there in Gothic solitude reclined
The cheerliss Tanais pours his hoary urn.
What solemn twilight! What stupendous shades

Enwrap those infant floods! Through every nerve
A sacred horror thrills, a pleasing fear
Glides o'er my frame. The forest deepens round;
And more gigantic still the impending trees
Stretch their extravagant arms athwart the gloom.
Are these the confines of some faery world?20
A land of genii? Say beyond these wilds
What unknown nations? If indeed beyond
Aught habitable lies. And whither leads,
To vrhat strange regions, or of bliss or pain.
That subterraneous way?

"Art of preserving Health"
——————————Armstrong.