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SONNET 'TO THE RIVER LODDON'

AH! what a weary race my feet have run,
Since firft I trod thy banks with alders crown'd,
And thought my way was all thro' fairy ground,
Beneath thy azure fky, and golden fun :
Where firft my Mufe to lifp her notes begun!
While penfive Memory traces back the round,
Which fills the varied interval between ;
Much pleafure, more of forrow, marks the fcene.
Sweet native ftream ! thofe fkies and funs fo pure
No more return, to cheer my evening road !
Yet ftill one joy remains, that not obfcure,
Nor ufelefs, all my vacant days have flow'd,
From youth's gay dawn to manhood's prime mature ;
Nor with the Mufe's laurel unbestow'd

Thomas Warton

The river Loddon a Glebe Gardens, photo  E.P.Tozer 2002

The River Loddon flows through Basingstoke's town centre,
only yards from St. Michael's church, were Thomas Warton
Senior was vicar. Thos. Warton Sr.'s tombstone may be
found inside St. Michaels's.