Nun's Well, Brigham

William Wordsworth

The cattle, crowding round this beverage clear
To slake their thirst, with reckless hoofs have trod
The encircling turf into a barren clod.
Through which the waters creep, then disappear,
Born to be lost in Derwent, flowing near;
Yet o'er the brink, and round the limestone cell
Of the pure spring (they call it the "Nun's well,"
Name that first struck by chance my startled ear,)
A tender spirit broods,—the pensive shade
Of ritual honours to this fountain paid
By hooded votaresses with saintly cheer;
Albeit oft the Virgin-Mother mild
Looked down with pity upon eyes beguiled
Into the shedding of "too soft a tear."