Lyrical Ballads (1800)/Volume 2/Rural Architecture

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For other versions of this work, see Rural Architecture.
1619190Lyrical Ballads, Volume II — Rural ArchitectureWilliam Wordsworth


There's George Fisher, Charles Fleming, and Reginald Shore,
Three rosy-cheek'd School-boys, the highest not more
Than the height of a Counsellor's bag;
To the top of Great How did it please them to climb,
And there they built up without mortar or lime
A Man on the peak of the crag.

They built him of stones gather'd up as they lay,
They built him and christen'd him all in one day,
An Urchin both vigorous and hale;
And so without scruple they call'd him Ralph Jones.
Now Ralph is renown'd for the length of his bones;
The Magog of Legberthwaite dale.

Just half a week after the Wind sallied forth,
And, in anger or merriment, out of the North
Coming on, with a terrible pother,
From the peak of the crag blew the Giant away.
And what did these School-boys?—The very next day
They went and they built up another.

—Some little I've seen of blind boisterous works
In Paris and London, 'mong Christians or Turks,
Spirits busy to do and undo:
At remembrance whereof my blood sometimes will flag
—Then, light-hearted Boys, to the top of the Crag!
And I'll build up a Giant with you.

Great How is a single and conspicuous hill, which rises towards the foot of Thirl-mere, on the western side of the beautiful dale of Legberthwaite, along the high road between Keswick and Ambleside.