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Them and their object : but, meanwhile, prevailed
growth Or like some natural produce of the air, That could not cease to be. Green leaves were
here; But ’t was the foliage of the rocks, the birch, The yew, the holly, and the bright green thorn, With hanging islands of resplendent furze: And on a summit, distant a short space, By any who should look beyond the dell, A single mountain-cottage might be seen. I gazed and gazed, and to myself I said, “Our thoughts at least are ours; and this wild
My EMMA, I will dedicate to thee.”
Soon did the spot become my other home, My dwelling, and my out-of-doors abode. And, of the Shepherds who have seen me there, To whom I sometimes in our idle talk Have told this fancy, two or three, perhaps, Years after we are gone and in our graves, When they have cause to speak of this wild place, May call it by the name of EMMA'S DELL.
Amid the smoke of cities did you pass
have been So distant from us now for two long years,
That you will gladly listen to discourse,
While I was seated, now some ten days past, Beneath those lofty firs, that overtop Their ancient neighbor, the old steeple-tower, The Vicar from his gloomy house hard by Came forth to greet me; and when he had asked, “ How fares Joanna, that wild-hearted Maid ? And when will she return to us?” he paused; And, and after short exchange of village news, He with grave looks demanded, for what cause, Reviving obsolete idolatry, I, like a Runic Priest, in characters Of formidable size had chiselled out Some uncouth name upon the native rock, Above the Rotha, by the forest-side. - Now, by those dear immunities of heart Engendered between malice and true love, I was not loth to be so catechized, And this was my reply :-“ As it befell, One summer morning we had walked abroad At break of day, Joanna and myself.
- ’T was that delightful season when the broom, Full-flowered, and visible on every steep, Along the copses runs in veins of gold. Our pathway led us on to Rotha's banks; And when we came in front of that tall rock
That eastward looks, I there stopped short, and
When I had gazed perhaps two minutes' space,
Of Glaramara southward came the voice ; And Kirkstone tossed it from his misty head.
Now whether” (said I to our cordial Friend, Who in the heyday of astonishment Smiled in my face) “ this were in simple truth A work accomplished by the brotherhood Of ancient mountains, or my ear was touched With dreams and visionary impulses
To me alone imparted, sure I am
Were wasted, as I chanced to walk alone
Note. - In Cumberland and Westmoreland are several inscriptions, upon the native rock, which, from the wasting of time, and the rudeness of the workmanship, have been mistaken for Runic. They are, without doubt, Roman.
The Rotha, mentioned in this poem, is the river which, flowing through the lakes of Grasmere and Rydale, falls into Wynandermere. On Helm-crag, that impressive single mountain at the head of the Vale of Grasmere, is a rock which from most points of view bears a striking resemblance to an old woman cowering. Close by this rock is one of those fissures or caverns, which in the language of the country are called dungeons. Most of the mountains here mentioned immediately surround the Vale of Grasmere; of the others, some are at a considerable distance, but they belong to the same cluster.