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Scawfell and Helvellyn both lift up their summits more than three thousand feet above the level of the sea, but I have ascended neither, and scarcely feel at ease in making the admission; for there is a strange delight experienced in attaining the top of a lofty mountain.
Ullswater have I seen by day, in its whole river-like form, as well as in its yet more beautiful parts, when the limitation of its winding length has apparently increased its breadth. Beauty and sublimity reside here, and many an enamoured visitor has pitched an imaginary tent, and built up an airy castle on the margin of the lake. Glorious it is, while the ear drinks in the thunder of the Ara Force, to gaze on the scene, when the surrounding lofty fells, as well as the lake itself, are lit up with sunshine; but it is now night, and the moon is riding high in the heavens.
The clouds are piled one above another in calm tranquillity, with silvery edges; and the moon sailing onwards is now obscured, and now again revealed. Calm, deep, solemn thoughts come over me; for the arresting loveliness is almost oppressive. What a pigmy is man, when contrasted with yonder gigantic mountains! and how poor his proudest works, when compared
with the handiwork of the Almighty! The moon in the skies above has a rival in the lake below, and both are passing beautiful. The night breeze hardly waves her wings, and silence is rather soothed than broken by the soft murmur of the gushing rills. A goodly night is this to walk abroad accompanied by one's own shadow alone, to muse and meditate, not only on creation, but on high and holy things, even on the highest and holiest. "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" Psa. viii. 3, 4.
I have now completed my rapid tour of the lakes, and am at Whitehaven, on the Frith of Solway; but my memory and imagination are busy with the scenes through which I have been passing.
What a wild profusion of fells and falls, cliffs, vales, and lakes is in my remembrance! The towering heights of Pikos, Scawfell, Helvellyn, Great Gravel, Bowfell, and Saddleback, mingle with the spreading woods of Lowther Castle, and the crystal waters of Derwent and lovely Windermere. I hear the thunders of Rydal
Falls, Ara Force, Lodore, and Kirkstone torrents; and I see the green patch in Grasmere Lake, the rocks in Ennerdale and Devockwater, and the fair cluster of islands on beauteous Windermere.
With what vast variety has the Almighty Maker of all things clothed the fair portion of our native isle that I have left behind me! The calm and unruffled flood, the rippled surface of the broad waters, the murmuring rivulet, and the 'tumbling torrent, succeed each other; the smooth-faced rock and the rugged crag, the shadowy rift and the sun-lit pointed pinnacle, are in strong contrast. Though no longer at Hawswater, Donnerdale, Buttermere, or the lake of loveliness, which is Ullswater, their several beauties are crowding upon me. Black Comb Mountain and the Pass of Kirkstone, Gowbarrow Park and deer, with the bays of Stybarrow Crags, are yet before me. The sand-piper flits along the stony margin of the desolate Lake of Wastdale; the stately heron still stands in the shallow water, on the fine blue gravel of the edge of Bassenthwaite; and the wild duck is even now plunging beneath the rock-bound, reedy, water-lilied surface of Loughrigg Tarn.
Grateful for all that I have seen, and felt, and enjoyed, fain would I lift up my heart and
70 CUMBERLAND AND WESTMORELAND.
tongue in his praise who spread the joyous banquet before me : "Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul," Psa. ciii. 1, 2, 22.
A RAMBLE ON THE BANKS OF
He who has never gazed on the goodly stream, the lofty banks, the woody heights, and the romantic rocks of the winding Wye, is a stranger to some of the most delightful scenery in England. As I ramble onward, day after day, at one time excursively, and at another pursuing the course of the river, a remark or two will sometimes escape me: would that I had words sufficiently to describe the scenes around me, or even vividly to embody my poor thoughts!
I am not now on the cloud-capped mountain, huge Plinlimmon, near whose summit the Wye takes its rise, but on Caplor Hill, one of the many heights which adorn the river. It is evening; and the setting sun, glaring in the west, like a flaming beacon, lights up the skies.
This Caplor Hill is a favourite spot with me: I love its seclusion, its glorious prospect, and its bold and precipitous fall to the river. Years