button to main menu   West's Guide to the Lakes, 1778/1821

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Page 227:-
Tears down the fragment big with death,
And hurls them thund'ring on the wretch beneath.
Not so the Naiad [1]; she defies
The faithless echo, and her yelling cries
Howls on the summit of rude Lowdore's brow;
Then with a desperate leap,
Springs from the rocky steep,
And runs enamour'd to the lake below.
So the Cambrian minstrel stood,
Bending o'er old Conway's flood,
White as foam his silver beard,
And loud and shrill his voice was heard:
All the while down Snowden's side,
Winding slow in dread array,
He saw the victor king pursue his way;
Then fearless rush'd into the foaming tide,
Curs'd him by all his idol Gods, and died.
Ah! where is he that swept the sounding lyre,
And while he touch'd the master string,
Bade ruin seize the ruthless king,
With all a prophet's fire? -
Mourn him, ye maids, and ye wood-nymphs mourn;
But chiefly ye, who rule o'er Keswick's vale,
Your visitor bewail,
And pluck fresh laurels for his hallow'd urn.
He saw your scenes in harmony divine,
On him indulgent suns could shine;
Me turbid skies and threat'ning clouds await,
Emblems, alas! of my ignoble fate.
But see! the embattled vapours break,
Disperse and fly,
Posting like couriers down the sky;
The grey rock glitters in the glassy lake:- /
[1] This alludes to the great water-fall at Lowdore.
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