Written at Grasmere, on tidings of the approaching death of Charles James Fox
Loud is the Vale! the voice is up
With which she speaks when storms are gone,
A mighty unison of streams!
Of all her voices, one!
Loud is the Vale! this inland depth
In peace is roaring like the sea;
Yon star upon the mountain-top
Is listening quietly.
Sad was I, even to pain deprest,
Importunate and heavy load!
The Comforter hath found me here,
Upon this lonely road;
And many thousands now are sad,—
Wait the fulfilment of their fear;
For he must die who is their stay,
Their glory disappear.
A power is passing from the earth
To breathless Nature's dark abyss;
But when the great and good depart
What is it more than this,—
That man, who is from God sent forth
Doth yet again to God return?
Such ebb and flow must ever be;
Then wherefore should we mourn?
The Poet William Wordsworth loved Grasmere, with its valley and Tarn. He lived there for 14 years and called it "the loveliest spot that man hath ever found."
Charles James Fox was a prominent Whig politician, anti-slavery campaigner and supporter of the French Revolution.