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HomePoems > Kubla Khan > Sources > William Bartram > 5. Crystal Fountain                           

 

 

1. The Serpentine Rivulet

2. Isle of Palms

3. Gordonia Lasianthus

4. Swelling Green Knoll

5. Crystal Fountain

6. Subterranean River

7. Manatee Springs

8. Alligator Hole

William Bartram:

5. Crystal Fountain

Bartram tended to gush about ebullient fountains-some of which were, indeed, remarkable enough. Like the one in Kubla Khan, this fountain is enchanted, and ceaseless, ebbing and flowing, with white sand and small particles of shell being thrown up, then subsiding and sinking. The imagery does suggest the ceaseless toil, the vaulting fragments, and the half-intermitted bursts of the fountain in Kubla Khan.

After emerging from the fountain, the water meanders for six miles through green meadows. In Kubla Khan the sacred river goes "Five miles meandering with a mazy motion." Lowes points out that "meander" is one of Bartram's favorite words, citing other examples on 16 other pages. (Footnote 589)

Text

Just under my feet was the inchanting and amazing chrystal fountain, which incessantly threw up, from dark, rocky caverns below, tons of water every minute, forming a bason, capacious enough for large shallops to ride in, and a creek of four or five feet depth of water, and near twenty yards over, which meanders six miles through green meadows, pouring its limpid waters into the great bason…is a continual and amazing ebullition, where the waters are thrown up in such abundance and amazing force, as to jet and swell up two or three feet above the common surface: white sand and small particles of shells are thrown up with the waters…when they…subside with the expanding flood, and gently sink again. --Bartram, 165-6.

 

Other sources

William Beckford
F. Bernier
James Bruce
Thomas Burnet
William Collins
Herodotus
Athanasius Kircher
Jerome Lobo
Thomas Maurice
John Milton
Pausanias
Samuel Purchas
Major James Rennell
Seneca
Strabo
Virgil

Mary Wollstonecraft

 

 
Word Line # Line Sources for word
Caverns

4

Through caverns measureless to man

 Bartram 5
 Bruce 1
 Kircher 2
 Rennell
 Strabo 2
 Wollstonecraft

 

27

Then reached the caverns measureless to man

 Bartram 5
 Bruce 1
 Kircher 2
 Rennell
 Strabo 2
 Wollstonecraft

Ceaseless

17

And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething

 Bartram 5
 Bartram 7

 Bernier 4

Enchanted

14

A savage place! As holy and enchanted

 Bartram 2
 Bartram 4
 Bartram 5
 Bruce 1
 Collins

Five 6 So twice five miles of fertile ground Bartram 5
Bruce 4
Purchas 4
 

25

Five miles meandering with a mazy motion

Bartram 5
Bruce 4

Flung up

24

It flung up momently the sacred river

 Bartram 5
 Bartram 8

 Strabo 2

Fountain

19

A mighty fountain momently was forced

 Bartram 4
 Bartram 5
 Bartram 6

 Bartram 7

 Bartram 8
 Beckford
 Bernier 2
 Bernier 4
 Bruce 1
 Bruce 2

 Bruce 3

 Burnet 1
 Herodotus
 Maurice 2
 Milton 4
 Pausanias
 Rennell
 Seneca 1
 Virgil
 Wollstonecraft

 

34

From the fountain and the caves

 Bartram 4
 Bartram 5
 Bartram 6

 Bartram 7

 Bartram 8
 Beckford
 Bernier 2
 Bernier 4
 Bruce 1
 Bruce 2

 Bruce 3

 Burnet 1
 Herodotus
 Maurice 2
 Milton 4
 Pausanias
 Rennell
 Seneca 1
 Virgil
 Wollstonecraft

Fragments

21

Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail

 Bartram 5
 Bartram 8
 Bruce 7

Half-intermitted

20

Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst

 Bartram 5
 Bartram 7
 Bernier 4

Meandering

25

Five miles meandering with a mazy motion

 Bartram 1
 Bartram 5
 Bartram 8
 Bernier 5
 Bruce 4
 Kircher 3
 Kircher 4
 Milton 4

Miles

6

So twice five miles of fertile ground

 Bartram 5
 Bartram 8
 Bruce 4
 Purchas 1

Miles

25

Five miles meandering with a mazy motion

 Bartram 5
 Bartram 8
 Bruce 4
 Purchas 1

Rocks

23

And ‘mid these dancing rocks at once and ever

 Bartram 5
 Bartram 6
 Bartram 7
 Bartram 8

 Bruce 2
 Bruce 7

 Collins
 Milton 6
 Wollstonecraft
 

Sank

28

And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean

 Bartram 5
 Bartram 8

 Strabo 2

   

 

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