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Page 117:-
[be]holder with reverential awe, and pleasing melancholy [1].
Derwent Water
The characteristic of this lake is, that it retains its form viewed from any point, and never assumes the appearance of a river [2].
[1] Here the reader's mind may be fitly prepared for perusal of the following beautiful night-piece of Dr. Brown, preserved to us by Mr. Cumberland, in the dedication of his Ode to the Sun.
Now sunk the Sun, now twilight sunk, and night
Rode in her zenith; not a passing breeze
Sigh'd to the grove, which in the midnight air
Stood motionless, and in the peaceful floods
Inverted hung, for now the billow slept
Along the shore, nor heav'd the deep, but spread
A shining mirror to the moon's pale orb,
Which dim and waning, o'er the shadowy cliffs,
The solemn woods, and spiry mountains' tops,
Her glimmering faintness threw: now every eye,
Oppress'd with toil, was drown'd in deep repose,
Save that the unseen shepherd in his watch,
Prop'd on his crook, stood list'ning by the fold,
And gaz'd the starry vault, and pendant moon;
Nor voice, nor sound broke on the deep serene,
But the soft murmur, of swift-gushing rills,
Forth issuing from the mountain's distant steep,
(Unheard till now, and now scarce heard) proclaim'd
All things at rest, and imag'd the still voice
Of quiet whisp'ring in the ear of night.
[2] The following sketch of the appearance of this amphitheatre, in a hard frost, appeared in the Cumberland Pacquet, February 10, 1784.
Derwent lake has been frozen over for several days, and quantities of timber have been drawn across it by horses. The appearance of this celebrated piece of water and the surrounding mountains is described by numbers who have seen it, as the most delightful of any prospect that can be conceived. The four islands have been visited by crowds of people, who agree that the whole scene is at present more awfully grand and enchanting than in the height of summer. The summits and sides of the mountains, at present clad with snow, the icicles hanging from the different cliffs, and the glassy surface of the lake, all these glittering in the sun, fill the eye with such an assemblage of natural magnificence and beauty as beggars all description.'
The following passage may be worth reading here, taken from a description of the curiosities in the Peak of Derbyshire, in the London Magazine, for October, 1778.
'Long has been the contention between gentlemen of Derbyshire and Cumberland, respecting Dovedale and Keswick, each claiming the superiority of natural beauties, and Dr. Brown has been thought by many to carry the dispute in favour of Keswick. I have carefully surveyed both, without being a native of either country; and if I might presume to be any judge of the matter, I should compare Dovedale to the soft and delicate maiden, and Keswick to the bold and sturdy Briton.'
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