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A fountain, from the Latin fons (genitive fontis), meaning 'source' or 'spring', is a decorative reservoir used for discharging water. It is also a structure that jets water into the air for a decorative or dramatic effect.


  • And in the midst of all, a fountaine stood,
      Of richest substaunce, that on earth might bee,
      So pure and shiny, that the siluer flood
      Through euery channell running one might see;
      Most goodly it with curious imageree
      Was ouer-wrought, and shapes of naked boyes,
      Of which some seemd with liuely iollitee,
      To fly about, playing their wanton toyes,
    Whilest others did them selues embay in liquid ioyes.
    And ouer all, of purest gold was spred,
      A trayle of yuie in his natiue hew:
      For the rich mettall was so coloured,
      That wight, who did not well auis’d it vew,
      Would surely deeme it to be yuie trew:
      Low his lasciuious armes adown did creepe,
      That themselues dipping in the siluer dew,
      Their fleecy flowres they tenderly did steepe,
    Which drops of Christall seemd for wantones to weepe.
    Infinit streames continually did well
      Out of this fountaine, sweet and faire to see,
      The which into an ample lauer fell,
      And shortly grew to so great quantitie,
      That like a little lake it seemd to bee;
      Whose depth exceeded not three cubits hight,
      That through the waues one might the bottom see,
      All pau’d beneath with Iaspar shining bright,
    That seemd the fountaine in that sea did sayle vpright.
    And all the margent round about was set,
      With shady Laurell trees, thence to defend
      The sunny beames, which on the billowes bet,
      And those which therein bathed, mote offend.
      As Guyon hapned by the same to wend,
      Two naked Damzelles he therein espyde,
      Which therein bathing, seemed to contend,
      And wrestle wantonly, ne car’d to hyde,
    Their dainty parts from vew of any, which them eyde.
  • REST! This little Fountain runs
      Thus for aye:—It never stays
    For the look of summer suns,
      Nor the cold of winter days
    Whosoe’er shall wander near,
      When the Syrian heat is worst,
    Let him hither come, nor fear
      Lest he may not slake his thirst:
    He will find this little river
    Running still, as bright as ever.
    Let him drink, and onward hie,
    Bearing but in thought that I,
    EROTAS, bade the Naiad fall,
    And thank the great god Pan for all!
  • From Evereven’s lofty hills
    where softly silver fountains fall
    his wings him bore, a wandering light,
    beyond the mighty Mountain Wall.
    • J. R. R. Tolkien, "Song of Eärendil"
    • The Fellowship of the Ring (1954), 2.1. Many Meetings
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