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

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Page 296:-
[in]viting in its aspect, but suited to the serenity of the spot, which is calculated to inspire sentiments at once sublime and chearful.
The langauge of poetry never applied 'The clear mirror of the flood,' with a propriety greater than that with which, on many accounts, a description of this lake might adopt it: the extent of the water is particularly calculated with the height of the adjoining mountain, to produce the most astonishing reflection from its surface; and the situation of the neighbouring mountains occasions such frequent changes of atmosphere in the course of the summer's day (and at no other season, it is presumed, are these parts visited by strangers) that the tourist will hardly be disappointed of viewing the picture in all its great variety of light and shade.
The following lines are an impromptu, written by a gentleman in the year 1788, who has since distinguished himself by his ingenuity, and at present enjoys no inconsiderable rank as an artist; we might be justified in saying he now possesses a very honourable niche in the modern temple of pictorial fame - in Somerset-house.
Here let the youth who pants for honest fame,
By real genius led, whose classic taste
Delights to copy Nature, here employ
His pencil, and by boldest stretch of art,
Snatch all the transient colours of the lake,
That wildly on its surface mingling play.
And let the rapture that with speed pursues
The flying spectacle of light and shade
(And, instant, strikes the canvas with their tint)
Direct the eye, and guide the rapid hand,
Quick! as the chasing clouds and glancing light
Reflect their image on the glassy plain.
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